7 July 2022
Dear Leicestershire and Rutland Gardens Trust
I am writing to you to offer our sincere thanks for your support in our recent Sensory Garden project at Millgate School. The project is now complete, and we would not have been able to get to this point without your support.
We have transformed what was once an empty area of mud into a garden, with five flower beds, two small ponds and a seating area. The five senses have been incorporated: wind spinners and bug hotels for sight, wind chimes for sound, herbs for smell, vegetables for taste, and textured foliage for touch. Paths lined with bark chippings leading to a covered area with seating provides students with a place to sit and reflect.
As you are aware, Millgate School has over 120 children aged 7-16 with social, emotional and mental health needs. This means that many of our students have poor mental health and struggle to regulate their emotions. We also have an increasing number of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, many of whom have sensory processing needs, meaning that they can easily get overwhelmed by what’s going on around them. This project will have a lasting impact on our students’ wellbeing, the quality of our school site and the provision we can offer our students.
Over 30 staff and students have contributed to the project. We now have an area where our school counsellors can work on outside therapies around gardening and nature. Further, this project has provided a work experience opportunity for students undertaking landscaping qualifications to include in their portfolios. This project has been transformational for our school and will improve the wellbeing of our students now and in the future. Students, staff and visitors have commented that the school site has been drastically improved and that the garden has made far better use of the space. We look forward to seeing the flower beds fill out and to topping up the bark chippings in the autumn. The project will have an ongoing impact of providing our students with a space to regulate their emotions and an outdoor learning environment for years to come.
We would like to thank you again for your support with this project. Whether it be funding, materials or plants, we are very grateful for your contribution and you have made a big difference to our school. I have included a couple of photos to show the transformation, however if you should like to arrange a visit in the autumn term to see it for yourself, we would gladly have you.
Assistant SENCO and Teacher of Maths