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Enterprising pupils design a healing garden

Pupils at Manchester Academy have put their design and teamwork skills to the test and come up with a winning idea for a courtyard garden at the New Children’s Hospital being built in Manchester. They took part in a competition run by the school and Central Manchester and Manchester Children’s University Hospitals NHS Trust as part of Enterprise Week. Racing against the clock, four teams of Year 8 pupils were given a brief at 9.00am and asked to produce a model of their design for a courtyard garden by 1.30pm. The winning team of Thambir Ahmed, Kamal Hussain, Zamir Meah, Niza Nyimbili, Idris Sheikhnur and Caed Whittle came up with an innovative approach to the courtyard, which measures 16 by 21 metres and is surrounded by a mixture of clinical accommodation and offices. Jane Delfino, the school's Innovations Director – who was the first teacher to be awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion - said: “We are delighted that the NHS gave our young people the opportunity to be involved in a real project that will have a lasting impact on the lives of young people. Whilst the day was hectic, everybody involved enjoyed the challenge.” Jill Baker, who is part of the team managing the £500 million project to build four new hospitals at the Trust, was one of the judges. “I was very impressed by how well the teams worked together to research, design and present their ideas. It’s great that these young people have come up with such an eye-catching scheme, which will be enjoyed by other children and will enhance the hospital environment.” The other judges included celebrity guest Tony Morris, presenter of 'Granada Reports'; Carly Ogden, Children, Young People and Family Engagement Co-ordinator for the Trust; Dominic Howson, Design Manager at Bovis, who are building the new hospitals, and courtyard designer Carl Taylor. Their winning entry will be presented by the pupils to the Trust Design Champion, project manager Nick Brooks and other members of the project team before being incorporated into the design plans. The New Children’s Hospital is due to be completed in April 2009.