Students with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs lead school landscaping project

In partnership with landscape architects, PRP, Socius is supporting students at Bristol’s North Star Academy to create a real-life development project, that will see them transform a previously unused area of their school grounds into a space they can enjoy and be proud of.

Working with Bristol WORKS, Bristol city council’s skills and employability service for young people, we have been running monthly workshops with students since the start of the year. This introduction to the project has helped us to understand what students would like from their new green space, as well as providing inspiration and insight into potential career opportunities within the built environment.

Based in North Bristol, North Star 240° is a secondary school that caters for pupils aged 11-16 with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs and associated learning difficulties. Pupils who have difficulties with their emotional and social development may have limited social skills and find it difficult to make and sustain healthy relationships.

Having delivered six monthly workshops so far, we’ve now reached the point where the student’s ‘vision’ for the site is clear and we want to start helping them to turn this into a reality.

On Wednesday 5th July, the team at Socius will join volunteers and students to help clear the space of overgrown weeds and prepare the site for the next phase of the project.

Mike Dodd, development director at Socius, says: “This is a really fun and exciting project for everyone involved.

“We plan to take them through the entire landscape design and development process, helping them to manage all aspects of the project, including the budget. Ultimately, they will create something they can really be proud of, and hopefully we’ll inspire some of the students to consider property and development as a career path they want to follow.”

The students have got some very interesting and exciting plans for their space and we’re now looking for your help to raise funds to support them even further with this project. To find out more and donate, click here