Following a meeting with the Head Teacher at Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg towards the end of last year, Cardiff & Vale Health Charity were approached by Sian James, the Head of the Welsh Bac about volunteering opportunities for pupils starting their Community Challenge in September 2019.
Never one to turn down an offer of volunteering, the Health Charity jumped at the chance to work with pupils from Year 11 on a project to improve one of the courtyard gardens in Barry Hospital.
Members of the Health Charity met the group of students, along with their teacher Mr Matthew Davies to show them the area and discuss some ideas. The pupils came armed with questions and ideas, and following this meeting they set off to do a day of planning prior to their two community days on 17th & 18th September.
The school volunteers arrived like a small garden army, laden with tools, buckets, compost and even a tea urn, and set to work straight away. They had planned what they wanted to do with very little input from the Health Charity, and all had their own individual elements of the job to do.
Sue Dickson-Davies, Senior Fundraiser who has been leading this project on behalf of the Health Charity said: “The team of pupils all worked so hard together and have created a wonderful space for staff, visitors and patients of Barry Hospital.
“Trees have been trimmed, spring bulbs have been planted, bee bombs scattered, weeding done, paving cleaned and benches painted – it really has to been seen to be believed! The team even brought a couple of bird tables, so hopefully those and new flowers will bring wildlife into the area.
“I was absolutely astounded at what they’ve achieved in such a small space of time – 8 hours, 14 Students, 1 Teacher = an absolute transformation!!
“We’d like to say a HUGE thank you to Year 11 and Mr Davies, and also to the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Asda and B&Q for donating items for this project – a brilliant example of community working at its best!”
Cardiff & Vale Health Charity is already working with the school on an art project, and will be looking forward to working together on further projects at Barry Hospital and within other areas of the Heath Board.
The work at Barry Hospital will enhance the current programme to improve the ‘first impression’ of all those visiting and working at Barry Hospital. In addition, this project helps the Health Board to fulfil its responsibilities towards the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act: A Resilient Wales, and supports the Cardiff and Vale UHB Wellbeeing Project.
“We grow better tomorrows when we plant good seeds today.”