Writtle College students to design garden for young people with autism

Three Writtle College students are designing and helping to build a garden for young people with autism, learning difficulties and special needs.

The InterAct garden team
The InterAct garden team

The project, which will be launched at an event on Friday 14 August, is for the Chelmsford-based charity InterAct and has been given the support of the star of television series The Autistic Gardener.

Scott Downes and Sam Moore - who were part of the College’s Young Gardeners of the Year winning team at the Ideal Home Show 2015 - along with fellow student Thomas Brindle have designed a garden for InterAct’s Aspire Centre at Moulsham Mill, Chelmsford, which will be built in partnership with GRAHAM Construction.

On hearing about the project, The Autistic Gardener, Alan Gardner, was eager to wish the team luck: "It was great to hear all about the garden project that InterAct are developing in Chelmsford for people with Autism and other special needs. With a willing band of the people they support and volunteers, they are working with Writtle College and GRAHAM Construction, to create a space for the community to enjoy for a long time to come. Good luck InterAct!"

Downes, from Bishops Stortford, who is going into his second year of a Horticulture degree, is leading the project team. He said: "The 500m2 space is currently overgrown but we plan to turn it into a comforting, practical garden which will give these young people a place to socialise, relax and develop their skills and confidence. The garden will also enable them to get involved in gardening, which is known to have a therapeutic effect, in a way that will cater for their different abilities."

The project will be launched at a special event at 12pm on Friday 14 August, at the Aspire Centre Garden, Moulsham Mill in Chelmsford, which will be attended by Chelmsford deputy mayor councillor Philip Wilson, and the Rt Hon Sir Simon Burns MP.

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