Berkhamsted School has benefited from a horticultural makeover with help from young people and adults supported by a local charity.  

By offering training and work experience opportunities, Berkhamsted have teamed-up with Sunnyside Rural Trust –a local charity who empower people with learning disabilities. 

Sunnyside – sowing the seeds for success

Sunnyside have an ambition to grow 90,000 plants with Dacorum Council area every year. Similarly, this project with Berkhamsted School’s Estates Department will help bring the success that everyone is rooting for.  

With the support from Berkhamsted’s industry professionals, the team of six trainees from Sunnyside have already transformed an area of the Prep School seen by everyone who enters from the main gate on Doctors Common Road.   They have successfully replanted the raised beds, and the next stage is to plant garlic, onions and broad beans – which could eventually end up as the ingredients in the Prep school lunches! 

Life transforming opportunities

Russell Hatt, the Maintenance Supervisor within the School’s Estates Department has led the project with Estates team member Steve Hammond.  

Steve said “My relationship with Sunnyside Rural Trust began in 2012 through my sonHenry, who was 16 at the time.  Henry was born with major heart problems and suffered a stroke after corrective surgery leading to him having learning difficulties.

“Sunnyside helps young adults like Henry to gain confidence and self-esteem while introducing them to a working environment. It was the start of a new chapter in Henry’s life when he began at Sunnyside.  

School values and community impact

“It was a proud day for me to see Henry as a part of the first team from Sunnyside to work on the school grounds, the joy in their faces as they began the task and their pride upon completion was a delight to see. This looks like being a mutually beneficial partnership which can only blossom along with all the wonderful plants they will be planting around the school.” 

“Since the moment they arrived, the Sunnyside trainees were enthusiastic, full of fun and laughter and couldn’t wait to get started. Armed with their own school badges and trowels they set straight to work. 

“Knowing that our school works hard in the community, a joint project with Sunnyside seemed like a good idea. The school Senior Management team and my own department have been unanimously supportive. They understand the great benefit to all, and how it reflects Berkhamsted School’s values.” 

Find out more

Berkhamsted School aims and values