All hands in the dirt as pupil plots plant sale

One UCS pupil’s passion for growing plants is generating a charity fundraising initiative and, in the process, inspiring fellow students to test their green fingers too.

Year 8 pupil Rian Borkakoty is growing from seeds a variety of plants, which he then intends to sell to members of the school community during the Summer Term. All proceeds will go to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, his charity of choice.

The germ of this charitable endeavour was a conversation that Rian had with Assistant Head (Head of Lower School), Edward Roberts, last summer and his plans crystallised following subsequent discussions with teacher Kirsty Anthony, the UCS Foundation’s lead in biodiversity and conservation. Rian has since been working with the school’s Green Impact sustainability club and its biodiversity spin-off to realise his gardening ambition.

He has now sown seeds at the school allotment together with Mrs Anthony, and his plants will be growing in the greenhouse there while the resourceful student takes orders for his produce from pupils, teachers, staff and friends of the school. Rian’s eventual crop will include cherry tomatoes, sunflowers, runner beans, sweet peas and cucumbers. These will cost £2 each, with payment upon delivery.

“I think it’s a lovely project and I hope a number of colleagues and parents will be willing to support him. Parents have been informed through their Friday bulletin and I thank everyone who will be backing this charitable venture,” Mr Roberts said.

Rian’s initiative coincides with the Royal Horticultural Society’s spring project to get schools, among other organisations, sowing and sharing seeds. His enterprise is thus helping to promote the RHS’s nationwide action week, encouraging his peers to participate when the ‘Big Seed Sow’ comes to the UCS allotment on 28th March. All pupils will have the chance to sow vegetables, flowers and herbs as well as support Rian … and, of course, put in their orders!

“The school’s biodiversity group are funding the compost and seeds, caring for the plants as they grow and helping to facilitate the project. This gives all students an opportunity to be involved with the national RHS scheme that the school has signed up to, and it means that Rian will get the support he needs with his charity sale,” added Mrs Anthony.

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