Pupils donate fruits of their labour to elderly
STUDENTS given tools by an elderly resident as part of an allotment project have repaid her kindness with some homegrown vegetables.
More than a dozen Sydney Smith pupils transformed an overgrown allotment plot in Anlaby.
June Taylor, a resident at Queensgate Care Home in Boulevard, gave them the tools to carry out the work.
Now, the students have handed over potatoes, rhubarb, turnips, cabbage and onions, which have been grown on the site over the year.
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Kerry Kenington, manager at the home in west Hull, said: "It has been an excellent project. Mrs Taylor's late husband used to work on an allotment and Mrs Taylor had all the gardening equipment.
"We saw the appeal for equipment in the paper and she decided to donate the tools."
Mrs Kenington said the vegetables have already been used for meals.
Residents have had rhubarb crumble, mashed potato and the onions have been cooked with liver.
She said: "It was a shock they decided to donate them to us.
"We grow our own tomatoes and buy local produce. It doesn't get much fresher and local than what the students gave us – they only got them out of the ground the morning they gave us them.
"It has been a really good scheme and the young people have worked really hard.
"Before the students came, we told all our residents about what they had done. When I showed them into the lounge, all the residents clapped and cheered their work.
"The project has been really good. They haven't just worked during school, but also after school."
Officers from the Kirk Ella and Anlaby Neighbourhood Policing Team launched the scheme to improve relationships between the police and schoolchildren.
With the blessing of Anlaby Allotment Association, a plot of land off Wolfreton Villas was handed over for the project and 14 students, aged between 13 and 16, have taken part.
As well as the allotment project, students also learnt how to box with City of Hull Boxing Club.
Six of these students are now amateur boxers with the club, including Ryan Mitchell, who took part in his first fight earlier this year, just three months after picking up the gloves.
PC Andy White, of Humberside Police, said: "The students dug up the vegetables in torrential weather. They were adamant, despite the fact we suggested postponing it for a better day.
"The group have worked really hard and really got into the project.
"The same group have worked on the project for the year and they have become a tight group and there has been a good team ethos."
Corrina Gutherless, behaviour councillor at Sydney Smith School, who was involved with the project last year, said: "It gave students a different experience and a bit more discipline. It has improved their behaviour in school as well.
"Some of the students who took part in the boxing have really excelled."
The project, which has continued into this year, has been such a success that it has been extended into Hull.
The Mighty Acorns project has started in Gypsyville, which will see young people taking over an allotment and growing produce and cooking, as well as participating in sport.
The local neighbourhood policing team received a £1,500 Tribune Trust grant, which has paid for the equipment to be used on the allotment.
Inspector Andy Woodhead, of Humberside Police's Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "The project provides the children with the opportunity to learn something new about gardening and horticulture, and it also provides our younger community with an alternative activity to get involved with."