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Houseplant workshop at Ormiston Forge Academy
(18/05/22)
Posted by : Transform Our World
6 students posing for a photo in classroom

By Transform Our World Youth Engagement Officer, Leah 

 

Year 7 and 8 students from Ormiston Forge Academy's Our Planet Matters (OPM) group decided that they wanted to benefit the school community by adding a bit more greenery around their classrooms and indoor areas, both to improve air quality and liven up the school somewhat. Because who doesn’t feel better when they see a beautiful house plant?! 

 

First of all, they decided to send out a survey to all the staff in the school, to find out who would be interested in having a houseplant for their classroom.

 

Amazingly, they had nearly 50 teachers respond to say that they would love a plant! Now that they had a target number of plants to source, they realised they would need to get a house plant company to give a big discount on the plants in order to fit this project within the overall group budget, since house plants are quite expensive. 

 

To this end, the group wrote a note explaining who they were (a group of Y7 students who wanted to make their classrooms both healthier and more pleasant by adding house plants) and asking any prospective company to offer them a big discount on the plants they needed, for a good cause. 

 

 

students with potted plants

The group’s facilitator then took this note and started contacting a range of companies, and after a little while she made contact with the brilliant team at Urban Planters, a company that usually supplies and manages indoor plants for offices and business premises.

 

Their Managing Director read the students' message and decided to make an incredibly generous offer to support them to achieve their goal. Not only would Urban Planters provide the plants they needed for a very reduced fee, they would also come into the school and run a free workshop for the group, to teach them how to care for the plants, and what benefits they offered.

 

The group was very excited when they heard the news, and when the day of the workshop came around everyone in the Our Planet Matters group agreed it was a fascinating session, and they learned a great deal about plant care.

 

The next day the group even passed on their new skills to another class of Year 8 pupils at Forge, who came to help pot up all the remaining plants, and then deliver them around the school to the eagerly waiting teachers who had ordered them.

 

All in all the group were very proud of the journey they had taken from an original idea to have more plants around the school, all the way to their vision becoming a reality!

 

And what is more, they could also recognise that by working towards positive change themselves, they had also inspired others to make a difference too, like the staff at Urban Planters who volunteered their time to teach plant care, and the Year 8’s who joined in with the potting and delivering of the plants.

 

Ormiston Forge Academy was supported by Transform Our World Youth Engagement Officer Leah, funded by #iWill.

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