‘Friendship Garden’ for children unveiled

The Friendship Garden, with Wing Commander Andy Ross, Kidzon's chairman of trustees, and Steven Ross, manager of Tesco, Sleaford. Picture: Linda Lowing/UK MoD Crown Copyright
The Friendship Garden, with Wing Commander Andy Ross, Kidzon's chairman of trustees, and Steven Ross, manager of Tesco, Sleaford. Picture: Linda Lowing/UK MoD Crown Copyright

An overgrown allotment area at a childcare provider near Sleaford has been transformed into a ‘Friendship Garden’.

The project has taken place at Kidzone, at RAF Cranwell, a facility which provides childcare to military families and the community.

children playing in the Friendship Garden after its opening ceremony. Picture: Linda Lowing'/UK MoD Crown Copyright

children playing in the Friendship Garden after its opening ceremony. Picture: Linda Lowing'/UK MoD Crown Copyright

It comes thanks to a grant from Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme and a determined effort by staff.

The work has seen: the creation of a new sensory area; the provision of a range of planters and flower beds to inspire children’s interest in growing vegetables and plants; the introduction of small benches depicting mini beasts; and the creation of intimate storytelling and social areas through the use of sitting stones and a wicker den.

A spokesman for Kidzone said: “The different areas have all been carefully planned to encourage friendships, cooperation and social interactions whilst nurturing their imagination and learning.”

They added: “It is well documented that the transiency of military families has the potential to impact greatly on young children’s health and wellbeing.

“The upheaval of moving home, leaving friends and extended family members, as well having friends leave them for places new, can be traumatic and have a detrimental impact on their early development.

“Children can experience a range of emotions, which are often difficult for them to verbalise, and this can lead to isolation or bewilderment; creating new friendships and attachments is vital for their overall happiness and security.”