Sensory Garden project marked with first tree planting

A new outdoor learning environment for students at our Colchester campus is beginning to take shape. Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Tim Young marked the next phase of the project by planting the first palm tree. As part of the Colchester Borough Council Big Choice Award scheme, the College received a £25,000 grant to develop a sensory garden on campus and has been supported by contributions from local employers. The garden will feature structures created by the students from the College’s trade Curriculum Areas including Brickwork and Carpentry.  In addition there will be contributions from other course areas including Art and Design and Learning for Living.

Councillor Tim Young, who was joined by Principal and Chief Executive Alison Andreas, Executive Vice Principal Gary Horne and Securities and Estates Manager Stuart Tyler, said: “It’s fantastic to see the sensory garden taking shape, and I am so pleased that the Big Choice scheme has been able to support projects like this.  I am really looking forward to coming back later in the year.”

The sensory garden is being constructed in close proximity to the existing bird hide and wildlife area, offering a tranquil surrounding for students to study. Gary Horne, Executive Vice Principal said “This project will be another addition to the raft of improvements we have made to student break out areas over the last few years.  Our vibrant campus is going to be further developed with a range of works planned over this summer to further enhance the student experience at Colchester Institute.  It’s a great place to work and study.”

Further emphasising the collaborative nature of the project, the College has gratefully received a generous donation of block paving from regional builders merchant Collier & Catchpole, which has greatly aided in the development of the project.

Tim Rowbottom, Managing Director at Collier & Catchpole said: “Collier & Catchpole is committed to supporting local community projects. This initiative was particularly attractive as it means working with Colchester Institute, a leading educator of those wishing to be part of the building and construction sector. These students will be our employees of the future as well as our potential customers. We are proud to be able to collaborate in this project and the development of such a positive learning environment.”