St Stephen’s school needs your help with new kitchen garden

Shepherds Bush pupils need your help to create a kitchen garden packed with edible plants – and even chickens and bees.

St Stephen’s CE Primary has been shortlisted to benefit from thousands of pounds in a Tesco community funding project – but the school needs local shoppers to support its garden plan.

Through July and August, the Uxbridge Road school will compete against two other community projects to win a grant through the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

A total of 17 local Tesco stores are hosting the contest, in which customers can vote for their favourite scheme using a token handed out at the checkout each time they shop.

The most popular project will walk away with a £4,000 grant – while the remaining two will receive £2,000 and £1,000 each.

Headteacher Michael Schumm explained the grant would make a huge difference to being able to go ahead with plans for the garden, which will cost £6,000 in total. “The kitchen garden will create an oasis in the middle of the school filled with growing boxes, trees, and seating areas,” he said.

“It will be an outside classroom where children can grow different vegetables and then have them cooked or used for school lunches. We are planning on having chickens and bee hives too, as well as lots of sensory plants.”


Customers can vote for their favourite scheme using a token handed out at the checkout each time they shop

The school has been working hard at formulating its ideas for the garden, with pupils on the school council discussing plans during its meetings.

A blueprint has been drawn up by a local landscape architect, Claire Greener, which includes raised beds, a green waste bin, rainwater butt, and seating area with a bug hotel, as well as lots of edible plants and herbs.

“This courtyard kitchen garden would become a focus for our whole school community with parents working alongside children to create a sustainable space where they can explore environmental issues and horticulture,” added Mr Schumm.

Tesco teamed up with environmental charity Groundwork for the Bags of Help funding scheme, which distributes the money raised from the 5p carrier bag charge.

Several H&F projects have already benefited from the bag levy. Ravenscourt Park’s walled garden received a grant (topped up by the council) to renovate three overgrown, weed-bound flowerbeds, while William Parnell Park in Sands End won £12,000 to buy tools and plants to transform empty flowerbeds, and teach volunteers the skills to keep them looking good.

Groundwork’s national chief executive Graham Duxbury said: “We’ve been thrilled to see the diversity of projects that have applied for funding, ranging from outdoor classrooms, sports facilities, community gardens, play areas and everything in between.” 

For more details, visit: www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp.

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