William Byrd Primary Academy

Pupil Well-Being

Growing Hope Gardening Group 

We have joined Winston’s Wish bereavement charity to run a Growing Hope project.  The Growing Hope project brings together bereaved children to garden at regular sessions during school time.  These children can experience the benefits of gardening throughout the year whilst having the opportunity to meet with other grieving children and create an informal network of support.  Our garden area will provide a quiet reflective space for children to cope with their grief. 

 How does gardening help with grief?  

The Growing Hope project follows the seasonal cycle of the year and uses it as a metaphor for growth and change that supports the children in coming to terms with their own changing circumstances and supports them to understand the concept of life and death.  There is strong evidence linked to gardening and connectivity to nature with improved mental and physical health.  For bereaved children in particular growing vegetables can give children a sense of purpose.     

The benefits of the group session  

Working together with nature means the children can connect with others who have had similar experiences, enabling them to access support and understanding.  Through this they can realise they are not alone and that many emotions that we feel when grieving such as sadness, anger, anxiety, guilt, fear, denial, disbelief and confusion are part of the journey.  The relationship formed with other children may create a supportive network of families within the wider local community.  This helps children and their parent’s better cope with loss and reduces the experience of isolation that is often associated with bereavement.  

If you would like your child to join the group please contact Mrs Houston by e-mailing ELSA@williambyrd.school.