School’s peace garden gets Bishop’s blessing

LET'S CELEBRATE: Bishop Seamus Cunningham and students at the opening ceremony.
LET'S CELEBRATE: Bishop Seamus Cunningham and students at the opening ceremony.

A PLACE for people to enjoy quiet reflection has been created by pupils in the grounds of a South Tyneside school.

St Joseph’s Catholic Academy, in Mill Lane, Hebburn, now has its own legacy garden after students sought the help of local businesses.

CUTTING CREW: Bishop Seamus cuts the ribbon.

CUTTING CREW: Bishop Seamus cuts the ribbon.

The area, just within the school grounds, aims to be a place where pupils and residents can go to reflect on issues affecting their lives, think about loved ones, or take time out for quiet reflection.

The idea and design of the garden was created and made a reality by students after it was raised during a meeting of the school’s council.

They were supported in their endeavour from a range of businesses who lent their support.

The garden was officially opened by the Bishop Seamus Cunningham, the Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle

It was quite inspirational to see the pupils and the community coming together to make this happen.

Ryan Gibson, assistant headteacher

Assistant headteacher Ryan Gibson said: “This project has been student-led right from the start, from the idea through to the creation.

“It has been a fantastic project for the students to be involved in.

“They have taken responsibility for the garden from writing to businesses and to meeting with representatives.

“In all they have managed to secure around £5,000 in materials and time to help make the legacy garden possible.

“It was quite inspirational to see the pupils and the community coming together to make this happen and to have the Bishop come along to open it was fantastic.

“The event itself was well-attended.”

The legacy garden was made possible with the help of Michelle Brannen and John Riddell from the charity ‘Business in the Community’; Lloyds Banking Group; Wynn Construction; GallifordTry Construction; Thompsons of Prudhoe; Purdy Decorators; Grace Landscapes; Marshalls outdoor furniture company; Michael Dickenson, from Michael Dickinson Wealth Management; Clare Smith and the volunteers from the Halifax; Colin Burnicle and the apprentices from Carillion; Mr & Mrs Gregg – Low House Farm Nurseries, East Boldon and Morrisons at Jarrow.