• 12 October 2021
  • Communities, News,

Two local primary schools in Sunderland have received new gardening equipment to start the new school year thanks to Gentoo Group and its partner Tolent.

Dame Dorothy Primary School and St Benet’s RC Primary School both scooped the prizes as recognition for their dedication to encouraging young children to get involved in gardening as part of Gentoo’s annual gardening competition.

St Benet’s school received a bench for the garden to provide a place for the children to sit and enjoy the outdoor space, after a recent project saw the children work to create an environmentally friendly and sustainable garden.

Dame Dorothy Primary School in Roker’s garden focuses on creating a new generation of sustainable gardeners and features vegetable patches where the children everything from carrots to plum tomatoes.

To support their efforts, the school has been gifted a composter, children’s wheelbarrows, bark, and seed.

Speaking of the donation, schoolteacher Gayle Stoddart said: “We’re really grateful for the donation from Tolent and Gentoo as part of the gardening competition.

“The children are really passionate about the garden and love getting their hands dirty and being involved in planting, growing, and maintaining the outdoor space. They were extremely excited about the donation and are looking forward to using the new equipment to work on their ideas for the garden this year.”

Catherine Loftus, head of tenant voice at Gentoo Group, said: “The work both primary schools are doing to encourage children to take up gardening and enjoy their outdoor spaces is brilliant and I’m delighted that through our annual gardening competition we can recognise and support their amazing efforts.

“Seeing the smiles on the children’s faces was great and it’s great that we can provide support for the schools after an extremely challenging period for the education sector.”

Chris Price, regional director for Tolent, said: "It was a pleasure to have supported this competition with Gentoo, who are really making a difference across a host of communities in Sunderland. The schools seem delighted with their new equipment and this is just another way we're working to enrich the communities where we work, and we hope to continue this engagement in the future."

The two schools were recognised in the community category of Gentoo’s annual Ready, Set, Grow! Gardening competition which recently saw residents from Peacehaven Court in Washington named the winners.

The annual competition launches in Spring each year and is announced via Gentoo’s social media channels.

Tolent is currently on site delivering the Brockwell Green development on behalf of Gentoo; a £5.5m project of 49 new homes for rent.