Students at Thomas Bennett Community College in Crawley, have been making scarecrows and planting fruit trees as part of a project with civil engineering company Colas.
The students in Year 7 were set the challenge by the company to come up with designs for scarecrows made out of recyclable materials, which would be used to protect Colas Ltd’s green space allotment crops at their Rowfant site.
They used their talents to create entries, and the finalists in the competition took part in building the top four scarecrow designs with the help of Colas staff.
The students were also planting up seedlings of fruits, vegetables and flowers.
It is hoped they will return later this term to harvest them to use in their food studies lessons back at their school.
At the end of the day one student said: “It was great to learn real skills and to work alongside people from Colas.
“We had fun but we also learned a lot about how to plant and care for the green -space.”
Another said: “‘I really enjoyed sowing the seeds and planting because when we were doing it I found out a lot about the company and I found it interesting’.
“Building the scarecrow was the best thing, because we used our imagination.”
Carole Lawless, director of Personal, Social, Citizenship and Health Education (PSCHE) at the college saw how much they all enjoyed it.
She said: “The students had a fantastic time and felt that they were learning ‘real skills’ in an exciting and fun way.
“They really enjoyed the opportunity to talk to Colas staff about their roles and jobs - they said it gave them a clearer idea about the range of careers a company like Colas can offer.
“They thought the whole day was fabulous and are keen to visit again to see more of what Colas do.”
Lee Rushbrooke CEO of Colas Ltd was there on the day to present certificates to the winners of the ‘design a scarecrow’ competition.
The day was part of the ‘Give & Gain’ initiative supported by many companies including Colas.
Run by Business in the Community, it is the UK’s only national day of employee volunteering with community groups, schools and clubs.
Now in its seventh year, it helps help young people, vulnerable groups, budding entrepreneurs, charities and community organisations to problem solve, develop skills, build confidence, maintain and expand their services.
This year’s event on May 15 saw thousands of people from hundreds of companies volunteering.
To find out more about the initiative go to www.bitc.org.uk/programmes/give-gain-day