Dame Floella Benjamin Opens The Garden of Unity at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Primary School, Battersea6th February 2024
On a wet and windy December day in South West London, the Garden of Unity, which had featured in this year’s prestigious Chelsea Flower Show, was unveiled in its new home in Sacred Heart School, Battersea.
Alongside Mr Jared Brading, the Executive Headteacher at Sacred Heart, the icon of Childrens’ television, Floella Benjamin, and Vice Chair of the Royal Horticultural Society, officially opened the garden at the school. Interviewed on BBC News, Dame Benjamin said the garden would be invaluable “for children to find respite and wellbeing, and being connected to nature” particularly where they didn’t have access to that at home. The children were very enthusiastic talking about gardening, saying it was “very relaxing” and appreciating nature’s role in “reducing our carbon footprint”; and the beautiful flowers in the summer. Manoj Malde, the garden’s designer at Chelsea, spoke about how rewarding it was to be able to share a garden that had been in this year’s show, where only a few could afford to see it, to a school where it will be enjoyed by all children; their families; the staff and all the visitors to the school.
Despite the gloomy weather, this was truly a celebration of another new beginning at Sacred Heart school, where this colourful garden will bring joy to many children as they go through their primary school education, learning about ecology and nature, watching the progress of seeing things grow and being involved in creating an important space for generations to come.