Special Gardening Project is One Step Nearer Reality

March 1, 2024  8:00 am

Gelder Group’s ambitious plans to create a unique garden to inspire children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) have been by supercharged by grant aid and boosted by money raised through a fun quiz, exciting auction and bumper raffle. Together they have raised £5,489.06 taking the Gelder Group nearer to making its fantastic educational project – aimed at encouraging young people to aspire to a brighter future – the reality.

Gelder Group Chief Executive Officer Steve Gelder said:

We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded a grant of £1,230.66 from the Gardening with Disabilities Trust, which will be used to buy the wood needed to build the raised beds to go into the polytunnel.

The Trust said it is happy to help with our project and it hopes its support will enable people to enjoy the garden. We have also received superb support from many of our suppliers.

Our quiz, auction and raffle evening at Lincoln City Football Club (LCFC) turned into a brilliant fun evening. More than 100 people took part in the quiz and our quiz and raffle received excellent support. Overall, this event raised £4,258.40.

Head of Operations of Gelder’s Xeric division, Norman Howie turned “Riddler” took to the stage to welcome quiz-lovers to LCFC and went on to introduce the evening’s celebrity Quizmaster and popular actor Colin McFarlane.

Assistant headteacher at Lincoln’s St Francis and St Christopher’s special schools, Nick Wray was also welcomed to the stage, where he spoke passionately about the importance of recognising the real worth of SEND children and their true capabilities.

Nick said:

I believe it will provide greater opportunities to develop practical horticultural and outdoor learning skills for all, as well as the wider employability skills that are transferable to many different workplaces.

Everyone is really proud that the Group’s headquarters complex already boasts a 14-acre environmental park, which Gelder is keen to develop further to help the environment and the community. Features already include 200,000 bees, a fully stocked lake, a nesting tower used by breeding owls and kestrels and a natural pond which has attracted red crested newts.

Steve Gelder added:

We aim to develop the park to offer SEND schools’ pupils the chance to learn gardening skills, boost their self-development and get on a pathway to a horticultural career. Hopefully, our latest project will  evolve into a structured programme which pupils can use as a stepping stone to achieving independence,  work placements and getting paid.

Fundraising Quiz

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