A PRIMARY school in Tidworth has created a ‘quiet garden’ for its pupils, and in memory of a staff member, thanks to the generosity of the local community.

Clarendon Infant School on Ordnance Road had an overgrown area of its playground that it wanted to develop into a quiet, sensory garden.

Then, last year, a long-serving and much-loved teaching assistant, Heidi Sheridan, contracted Covid in hospital and sadly passed away.

Staff wanted to create an area in the quiet garden for a memorial bench and flowerbed in Heidi’s memory.

When schools reopened, the school sought quotes for the development of the garden. Some quotes came in at £10,000.

Helen Price, Business Manager for Clarendon School, told the Advertiser: “We knew we could do better for less!

“In December 2020 we organised a Santa Dash to raise money for this outside area. Parents raised a whopping £410.00!

“When the weather improved, we arranged a staffing weeding party and in May 2021 half term, staff managed to completely clear the area.”

Site manager Simon Stanley contacted Gavin Jones Ltd, the landscape gardeners. Rob from Gavin Jones kindly donated 20 tonnes of top soil for the garden.

Helen also contacted Mike James from the Tidworth branch of Sydenhams, who not only donated all the timber Simon needed to build the raised beds but also generously donated the stone chippings for the ‘Lavender Walk’.

Helen then applied, and was successful for, a grant from the Tidworth Council Mayor’s fund for a further £410.00 in order to buy plants.

Cath Hannah, admin officer, approached Vigo Nursery in Andover. Chris Blake helped uthe school to choose trees, shrubs and plants from a large selection. Chris delivered the plants for free and even threw in some extras.

Another staff working party was organised and all the plants are now in the garden.

Helen said: “The garden looks beautiful! Wind whistles through the bamboo, the grasses are beautiful and tactile and the bright Rudbeckias are resplendent. We are sure that this will be a well used resource for our school community and a place to remember our colleague and friend, Heidi Sheridan.”

She continued: “Children thrive in outdoor spaces and not all children have access to a garden.

“Clarendon Infants school is so pleased with our garden and it just goes to show what can be achieved when people work together.

“We would like to thank all our big-hearted partners in this project: Sydenhams, Gavin Jones, Tidworth Council Mayors fund, Cllr Mark Connolly, Vigo Nursery , the staff who gave their free time for creating the quiet garden and the parents for their fundraising.”