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Donation helps Meldrum Academy fund accessible path to school community garden

By Kyle Ritchie

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A new fully-accessible path will soon be built for pupils at Meldrum Academy to allow a safe way to access the school community garden following a donation from SSEN Transmission.

The garden, which plays a key role in the pupils’ outdoor learning activities, offers students the opportunity to help grow different vegetables and plants, as well as to appreciate the value of nature.

Previously there was no wheelchair accessible path up to the garden, which prevented some pupils from fully participating in outdoor learning activities.

Meldrum Academy's community garden.
Meldrum Academy's community garden.

After launching a fundraising drive, the pupils were working to raise money to pay for a new accessible path, and were close to reaching their target.

Teams from SSEN Transmission working on the north-east overhead line reinforcement heard about the need for funding to develop the path and stepped in with a donation of £1000 to cover the final portion of costs for the development, materials and construction of the new garden access.

It is hoped that the path will be built over the summer holidays, ready for pupils to enjoy in the new term.

Last week teams from SSEN Transmission were invited to visit the school community garden at Meldrum Academy by the pupils and teachers to thank them for their contribution and show the outdoor learning space and future location of the new fully-accessible path.

SSEN Transmission project manager Simon Robertson said: “We’re delighted we’re able to help contribute towards a fully-accessible path for the pupils here at Meldrum Academy, meaning the whole school community can safely access the garden and get involved in all the outdoor learning activities on offer.

“It was great to be shown round the garden and hear from the pupils and teachers involved in their tremendous efforts to raise funds for the path, and I’m really pleased to hear that the new access will make a real difference.

“As guests in the area, it’s great to know that we can help, have a positive impact on the local community and leave a lasting legacy through the project by supporting initiatives such as this.”

Meldrum Academy additional support for learning teacher Ashley Carstairs said: “We were bowled over by the generosity of SSEN Transmission. This will make a huge difference to our pupils and will be a legacy for the school.

"We have been fundraising for years and are delighted that this project will now be realised.”

SSEN Transmission is reinforcing the existing 275kV overhead line connecting the substations at Blackhillock, Keith, Kintore and Peterhead to enable operation at an increased voltage of 400kV, which will allow increased generation capacity to the transmission system and allow the connection of future renewable energy projects in the area.

For more information about the project visit www.ssen-transmission.co.uk/projects/north-east-400kv

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