A NEW project encouraging children to get into gardening has been set up at Victoria Junior School to make a difference to Workington by bringing a derelict allotment back to life.

With the help of Councillor Will Wilkinson, The Feenan's Allotment Society and NSG Legacy Management the pupils have been working on an 8 week business plan detailing the stages of the allotment regeneration.

The project is being run as part of the Bright Stars Primary Competition which aims to introduce the children to leadership and the world of business.

The allotments when finished will be used for the children of both Victoria Infant and Nursery and Victoria Junior to grow their own produce for their own use in school and to donate to those in need in the community.

In preparation for this stage, the pupils have been practising planting and growing their own vegetables in the school garden and have had a virtual lesson on bee-keeping organised by NSG so that they can build a bee-hotel to protect our wildlife.

Headteacher, Pauline Robertson said: "Victoria school is situated very close to the allotments and when the call came from Councillor Will Wilkinson offering us the opportunity to work together to develop one that was derelict, improving the area and developing the skills and interest of the pupils, I remember thinking that this would be quite a challenge. I am so proud of the way staff and pupils have engaged with the project."

" The mental health benefits of being out in the fresh air gardening cannot be underestimated and we hope that our pupils will benefit from this long term commitment, developing a real understanding and interest in growing their own food, as we build this into our curriculum entitlement. "

The new scheme is supported by St Michael's Ward Councillor and Deputy Mayor Will Wilkinson, he along with the Feenan's allotment society have donated a piece of abandoned allotment to help the project..

He has also donated a variety of flowers, as well as seed potatoes, tomatoes and other fast growing plants to the school for the children to learn what it's like to start growing thing's, in preparation for their allotment.

Deputy Mayor, Will Wilkinson, said: " The project is going to be a long-term initiative where were going to transform a place of abandoned land into something that the children can be proud of."

"The plant's that I have donated are to keep them interested until the project goes ahead."

If you would like to volunteer to help 01900 606053.