Strand on the Green Schools Publish Their Wish List

Fundraising initiative aims to support the revival of outdoor areas

The new surface on the field enabling year-round activities
The new surface on the field enabling year-round activities

March 20, 2024

Strand on the Green Schools have recently launched a new fundraising initiative, the Wish List, which aims to support the schools in redeveloping their outdoor areas.

Supporters can made donations or purchase individual items that are needed to complete the project.

Some of the available space has become overgrown during the pandemic but now the plan is to maximise the potential of the site, transforming the field into an all-year-round sports, play and learning space and the ‘Secret Garden’ into a sensory garden, vegetable patches and forest school zone.

Previously, the field was unusable for much of the school year because it was too muddy and wet or too dry and dusty. However, Stage One of the project has just been completed the installation of durable artificial grass in the centre of the field which can be used throughout the year for sports, play and learning. The children have already been enjoying the new surface with the Infant school holding their annual World Book Day parade and Junior children participating in Active AM on the field.

Just some of the other activities the schools hope to take place on the revamped field are sports, playtime, outdoor lessons, before and after school clubs, holiday clubs, shows, parades, events, fairs and an improved forest school.

The headteachers of both schools, Vanessa Townsend (Infant) and Ruth Woods (Junior), along with their dedicated teams are say they are passionate about this project. Friends of Strand Schools (the PTA) launched the Wish List at its Bingo & Curry Night in January and the schools were delighted with the bingo players’ donations of over £900 on the night.

“We are thrilled with the new surface on the field and so pleased that the children have been able to use it straightaway,” said Vanessa Townsend. “Stage Two of the project is to plant natural grass, shrubs, trees and wildflowers around the field to enhance the natural environment. We also have plans for outdoor reading pods, wigwams and benches around the field for the children to use during outdoor lessons, forest school and playtime.

“There are multiple studies which show that spending time outside and learning outdoors has a myriad of benefits for children boosting curiosity, imagination, self-esteem, confidence as well as social and emotional growth and all of these things are integral to our values and wider curriculum at Strand. Exercise, fresh air and natural light also help with self-regulation and behaviour which are essential for personal development and academic progress which we have a strong focus on at Strand.”

Volunteers helping to tame the overgrown Secret Garden
Volunteers helping to tame the overgrown Secret Garden

Ruth Woods added, “We also have a long-term project in rejuvenating the ‘Secret Garden’, an area that runs from Strand Juniors to the Rec, which unfortunately became extremely overgrown during Covid and is not yet back to its former self. Plans are afoot to tame the brambles and create vegetable beds, a reading shed, a pond and habitats for insects and animals to thrive in. We are so lucky to have been supported by the TimeGivers Charity to get the project up and running but with the support of Friends of Strand we’ll be able to complete the project and get the children out there gardening again.”

A spokesperson for Friends of Strand commented, “We are so thankful to the members of the Strand community who have already made a donation to this fantastic project that will benefit all Strand children and their families but there is still a long way to go to reach our fundraising target. Whether you or your children are Strand alumni or you simply think the project is a worthwhile cause and would love to help make a Strand Wish come true then please click on the link to see what you could donate. We truly appreciate every donation and every donation does make a difference. Thank you!”

For more details of the Wish List and to donate click here.

Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More

This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.

Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.

We’ve always done that and won’t be changing, in fact we’d like to do more.

However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.

We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.

A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.

One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.

If you do support us in this way we’d be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.

For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least two articles a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you’d like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.