Planting day at Foyle View School, Derry
Tree Appeal and Professor David Bellamy were extremely privileged to visit Foyle View School in Derry, to help plant over a hundred saplings sponsored by contact centre Firstsource.
Foyle View is a school for children with severe learning difficulties and associated disabilities, all of whom were delighted to take part in planting the trees. Vice Principal, Pauline McGeown, told us, “We very much believe in having our children out working within the community and the community in here with us, so activities like today are very welcome.”
Prior to the planting, Professor Bellamy gave a full school assembly, where the staff and children had the opportunity to ask him questions about the environment. Mrs McGeown added, “David has been fantastic with the children and to have them eating out of the palm of his hand like he has is just amazing. This is just a wonderful day for them.”
The school already has an allotment, which allows the children to take part in planting and to develop an understanding of the environment. Planting the trees was a fantastic experience and each child received a certificate from David to congratulate them on their hard work. Their participation in the planting is something which has not only helped to improve their school grounds but has made a contribution to the environment that will endure for many hundreds of years.
As well as the children and teachers of Foyle View, a group of staff from Firstsource came along to get involved in the planting and thoroughly enjoyed making their contribution. One representative said, “It's not your typical day in the office! The kids are doing a grand job and it's great to be getting stuck in to something that's so worthwhile.”
As they grow, the saplings will form a border hedge along the edge of The Playtrail. This is a community project based in the school grounds, which includes three play parks, a sensory park, auditorium and walking trail. The staff did an excellent job of preparing the site for planting and joined in with the team on the day to plant the sponsored saplings.
Dominic from The Playtrail said, “We're delighted to be involved in this programme. The Playtrail isn't just about play, it's also about protecting the environment, which is something that we're constantly developing and continuing to do throughout the year. It's great that we've added so much new life to our environment today by planting these trees.”