Students and staff from Montacute School in Poole were joined by representatives from CG Fry & Son, Poole Housing Partnership - along with a real pirate, from the Pirates of Poole! - for the grand opening this week of their new polytunnel.
The specialist school was presented with the polytunnel thanks to the fundraising and collaboration of the local community and businesses. The 36ft wheelchair-accessible facility will provide the young people with extensive growing space for cultivating fresh produce, enabling them to develop their horticultural and life skills, as well as using the fruit and vegetables they grow in their café.
CG Fry & Son Contracting, along with civil and structural engineering firm, Mayhew Callum, undertook all the structural elements of the build, including groundworks, as well as constructing planter areas to erect the polytunnel. The expertise of CG Fry’s own in-house design team and labour were also called upon to complete the project for the school. By enlisting the support of all these specialists, the school can be assured that they have a facility that will last and is fit for purpose.
Mike Pinney, Contracting Director at CG Fry & Son Contracting, commented: “It was wonderful to meet the students today and witness first-hand their enthusiasm and excitement at the opening of their new polytunnel. It certainly makes all the hard work worthwhile.”
CG Fry & Son Contracting is currently building three blocks of 62 affordable housing apartments adjacent to the school in Canford Heath on behalf of the Borough of Poole with their development partner, Poole Housing Partnership. As a considerate and socially responsible contractor, we are always looking for ways to benefit the people and places where we build, so we were keen to support the school and offer them our expertise and labour for this project.”
The students were also joined by a member of the Pirates of Poole, who along with Dorset Gardens Trust, raised the funds to purchase the polytunnel for the school.
Residents involved in Poole Housing Partnership’s community gardens are looking forward to going along to the School to offer students some advice, help with planting, and to donate towards development of the garden.
Karon Nougher, Fundraising Coordinator at Montacute School, added: “To receive this level of support from local businesses and community groups has been absolutely incredible, there is no way we could have achieved this on our own.
“The polytunnel will allow us to grow plants all-year round, safe in the knowledge that they are well protected from the environment. It also provides a realistic working environment for the students. What’s more, we can use the produce in our café, as well as selling this to raise additional funds for the school.
“We would love to hear from any other organisations who may be able to help us with further donations; we need everything from compost, to seeds and tools. Any support would be gratefully received.”