In 2019 The Big Sunflower Project was contacted by Leanne, a Can Do Sport Programme Coordinator at Leonard Cheshire, who was creating an accessible garden and outdoor classroom at Marketfield School in Colchester, as part of a programme called ‘Can Do Sport’, an activity-based skills course for young people aged up to 35 years old with disabilities, mental health issues or long-term health conditions.
Leanne explained that Can Do Sport is about encouraging young people to become more active and lead healthy lifestyles (gardening included). Participants do 16 hours and when achieving a number of outcomes they can earn a City and Guilds endorsed certificate.
The Marketfield School project was funded by the National Garden Scheme, which each year chooses a number of charities to donate to and Leonard Cheshire had been fortunate to receive some money to create a courtyard garden at the school.
Leanne says ‘The sunflowers were grown on a windowsill and then planted outside against a sunny wall. It was really nice and everyone gave their sunflower a name. Growing sunflowers for The Big Sunflower Project was a great way for pupils to learn about gardening and also to help raise awareness of centronuclear and myotubular myopathy.’