The Literacy Garden

Our vision:

A bookable community space, encompassing table, bench seating and shelter within a garden setting with a literacy theme.  The space would be used for Manchester Health Academy students and external groups to enjoy literacy in an outdoor setting.

How we plan to make it happen:

The Literacy Garden project aims to provide an outdoor area to promote the enjoyment of reading for pleasure in an alternative environment to the classroom.  We already have a shelter, benches and tables and an area with raised beds (and a chicken coup!) but these are in need of maintenance.

Staff and students began clearing the garden area early in February 2016, it was very cold – see our photos below!

They will be working on it each week and hope to receive help from volunteers for some weekend efforts.

They intend to start planting a variety of vegetables and flowers, and to begin to add some nice decorative, literacy themed features.

Another idea is to buy or have made a mobile library shelf/cupboard that can be filled with books and taken outside.  As well as benefitting our students, we hope that Brooklands Library, who share our building, will be able to make use of it for local community organisations.

We hope to officially open the garden sometime in June 2016.

Can you help?

Do you have time to spare?  Or do you work for an organisation that has a volunteering scheme that might like to get involved?

We need some volunteers to help make our vision a reality, and take on the challenge of turning our forlorn garden into a lovely space, and we would be absolutely delighted to have you on board!

We are looking for:

  • Some time for clearing the garden ready for planting on one or two weekends;
  • Help with planting (this may be in school time or weekends, tbc)
  • Help with maintenance/diy/painting, again times tbc.

We also need materials such as wood, paint and plants.

If you can help, and to find out more, please contact our Learning Resource Manager, Reanne Birch on 0161 998 3992 or e-mail [email protected].

June 2016: The potatoes are reaching for the sun!  Thank you to students, staff and their children who came to work on the garden during the half term break in that beautiful weather!  The rhubarb is ready for a second harvest, and the onions are flowering too.

We are in the process of making some decorative boards for the garden this month when the Academy goes on tour to our Partnership Primary School summer fairs.  A big thank you to Travis Perkins in Sharston who kindly donated plywood, and to Wickes who donated paint and varnish for this!

A further thank you to Manchester City Council for the donation of three new compost bins, much appreciated!

We were delighted to have received our Level 2 RHS School Gardening Award this month too!

Literacy Garden May Half Term Work WEB Potatoes Web

Hand Print Lord Mayor WEB RHS Level 2 Certificate WEB

May 2016: Manure, Potatoes and some heavy digging!  A huge thank you to Wythenshawe Park Farm for the manure, Real Food Wythenshawe for seed potatoes, and to volunteers from Wythenshawe Housing Group who helped to dig and plant!

Miss Leigh and our visiting expert baker helped students make an array of delicious cakes, bakes and biscuits using the rhubarb from the garden.

Seed Potatoes from Real Food WEB WCHG Volunteers in action WEB Rhubarb Bake WEB

April 2016: Two out of the three raised beds cleared, and the Rhubarb is harvested. Miss Leigh has frozen the rhubarb and has plans to use it in her Food Technology classes soon!

Manchester Health Academy Literacy Garden Rhubarb April 2016 2 Rhubarb April 2016

Friday 6th February 2016: Starting to clear the ground

Clearing Ground feb 2015 worm Clearing Ground feb 2015