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Viking Primary School pupils award winning sanctuary garden relocated to school grounds from Chelsea Flower Show

A sanctuary garden concept by pupils from Viking Primary School in Northolt which was featured at this year’s Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show and won a gold medal has now been relocated to the school.

The pupils ideas for the garden were designed and turned into reality by RHS Ambassador and horticulturist Jamie Butterworth.

The Place2Be Securing Tomorrow Garden, developed in partnership with children’s mental health charity Place2Be and sustainable investment manager Sarasin & Partners, provides for the pupils, their families and school staff a place of calm and a safe space to talk.

Horticulturist Jamie Butterworth, managing director of Form Plants, who designed the garden said: “I hope that this garden will inspire everyone to think about the importance of outdoor space, a sanctuary where we look after and nurture our mental wellbeing. I’m proud that this garden now has a life beyond Chelsea, bringing a positive impact to the lives of these children and the whole school community now and into the future.”

Amie Norris, headteacher at Viking Primary School, said: “On behalf of everyone at Viking Primary School, we are thankful for the generosity of Jamie, Place2Be and Sarasin & Partners, for this amazing opportunity. The children have loved being involved with the garden design and after a difficult couple of years, the garden will give them a place to reflect and enjoy being outside. I look forward to seeing it through all the different seasons.”

Catherine Roche, CEO of Place2Be, added: “One in six children now has a diagnosable mental health issue, and many more are struggling with the challenges of life today. The Place2Be Securing Tomorrow Garden offers a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of the need to invest in children’s mental health. We are thrilled to have worked with Sarasin & Partners and with the very talented Jamie Butterworth, and we hope that everyone at Viking Primary School will reap the benefits of spending time in this calming space.”

John Handford, head of charities marketing at Sarasin & Partners, said: “It’s been a wonderful journey with Jamie, Place2Be, Viking Primary school, and we’re proud to be part of this fulfilling and meaningful adventure. ‘Securing Tomorrow’ is our strapline for our responsible investing, so it has been brilliant to be able to move the garden into Viking Primary School, so that the children have a safe space to talk and enjoy nature.”

In May, the pupils enjoyed the trip of a lifetime to visit the garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, they spoke to celebrities including Alan Titchmarsh, Mary Berry and Kate Silverton about their involvement in designing the garden, as well as ways that they look after their own mental health.

Among those who joined in the opening of the garden were members from West London NHS Trust Child and Adolescent Mental Health services (CAMHS) team.

They were were invited through the work that the Mental Health Support Team (MHST) Education Wellbeing Practitioner (EWP) Crystal Fletcher has been carrying out with the pupils at Viking Primary.

The West London NHS trust has been working with primary and secondary schools across Ealing and borough neighbour Hounslow for two years providing mental health support.

Keyur Joshi associate director of CAMHS and developmental services said: “This is a guided self-help model, through early intervention and prevention the CAMHS teams are working proactively to breakdown the stigma associated with mental health. Our environment plays a significant part in how we feel and this garden will offer the children the space to reflect and reconnect with themselves and nature.”

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