Dig the City: Pupils Grow Goodies for Charity ‘Playful Garden’
first week of August Royal Manchester Children's Hospital will be
showcasing their 'Playful Garden' at Manchester's Summer Garden
Festival, Dig the City.
Edible plants for the purpose-built, multi-sensory garden have
been grown by pupils at Victoria Park Infant School, Stretford who
jumped at the chance to grow and give back. Following the festival
the garden will be relocated to Royal Manchester Children's
Hospital where it will be rebuilt on the hospital's roof top play
area for all the patients to enjoy.
Green-fingered pupils of all ages have cultivated an exciting
array of plants and herbs, carefully tending to the seedlings which
are now ready to be replanted in the charity's Dig the City entry.
Kale, radish, lettuce and dill will stimulate with their scent,
taste and tactility while colourful sunflowers will attract insects
creating movement around the garden. This sensory garden can
be enjoyed by all patients, regardless of illness or
The garden will be located on King Street in Manchester and has
been designed by award-winning garden designer Sue Jeffries and
hospital Play Leader John Smith, ensuring the hospital's young
patients are very much in mind.
John, who built his own miniature therapeutic garden on Ward 83,
as well as looking after the hospital's roof garden explains the
benefits of connecting patients with nature:
"Bringing the outdoors to those in hospital gives children a
sense of normality, there are also known improvements to their
health. Interaction with plants, combined with getting the sun on
your face, means blood pressure can drop and muscle tone
Discussing plants with children provides them with a welcome
distraction from their treatments; it is an ideal way to increase
dialogue between staff and patients too. Parents also benefit from
such gardens, providing a tranquil setting when needing to take a
break from the ward."
Sue Jeffries who last year designed the winning 'Dig the City'
entry agrees, with this in mind, the 'Playful Garden' will include
a train track, tunnel and miniature lake and beach and fields,
which will stimulate children's imagination as well as their
Debbie Vrlec, Headteacher of Victoria Park Infant School
"'Victoria Park Infant School has always supported Royal
Manchester Children's Hospital Charity. Pupils understand the
importance of the hospital and are aware of how they can support
its work. We have thoroughly enjoyed growing the plants that will
be part of the Dig the City festival. Even more importantly, the
children are very excited that the plants they have grown from
seeds will continue to grow and be nurtured by the patients once
the planter arrives at the rooftop garden."
The garden will be located on King Street in Manchester for the
full week of the festival and is kindly supported by Revive Compost
a Viridor product and Recycle for Greater Manchester (R4GM), Alison
Heaton, R4GM Education Officer, says:
"We are delighted to be the sponsors of such an innovative
garden project. This garden has been grown by children, for
children to play in. The educational and health benefits of such a
project are invaluable."
The support of the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Charity
means that the hospital can provide additional resources that make
life easier for patients and their families who use the
The Charity has three main areas of work:
- to support research projects to improve our understanding of
- to help to create an environment that's more
- to provide state-of-the-art equipment for diagnosis and
Don't forget to tweet us a photo of yourself at our
@digthecitymcr garden - @rmchcharity
For further information
please contact Aimee Lawless 07827 866286 or e-mail
Notes to Editors
- The Charity provides resources to make a difficult time a
little bit easier for children and their families who use Royal
Manchester Children's Hospital.
- Royal Manchester Children's Hospital treats over 220,000
patients every year. They come from all over the North West
of England and from other parts of the country for some highly
- Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Charity is part of the
Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Charity. Registered charity number 1049274.
- The other hospitals which make up Central Manchester University
Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Charity are: University Dental
Hospital of Manchester Charity; Manchester Royal Eye Hospital
Charity; Manchester Royal Infirmary Charity; Saint Mary's Hospital
Charity; Trafford Hospitals Charity
- Revive compost is a Viridor product and is made from 100%
natural, organic materials from the homes and gardens of the
Greater Manchester public. Revive compost meets the highest quality
standard in their market. This includes the Compost Quality
Protocol (CQP) and the BSI PAS 100 standard, the leading industry
accreditation for compost quality.
- Recycle for Greater Manchester is a partnership between Viridor
Laing (Greater Manchester) Limited (VLGM) and the Greater
Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA), encouraging the people
of Greater Manchester to recycle more and recycle better. Our
Vision is to help make Greater Manchester a shining example of