Melbourn Village College has received a grant to provide benches and planters for a new wildflower area.
The £500 grant was donated by Trigg’s Charity, which was set up more than 200 years ago to support schools in South Cambs.
Irene Bloomfield, the college’s site manager, completed the application to support a project by Year 11 pupil Jake, who is based in the Student Support Center and is a prefect on the community and events team.
The college’s Eco Group had already highlighted an area for a wildflower meadow between the new food technology rooms and the George Edward building – where languages are taught – and Jake has been fundraising to add outdoor furniture for students.
Jake explained that he came up with the idea last year. He said: “I was in Year 10, and I wanted to be a prefect. I was trying to think of an idea that would help people with their mental health.
“I thought it would be good to have picnic benches in a quiet area on the back of the field with a flower area where people could go to relax at break and lunchtime.
“It should also be an area where you wouldn’t be hit by a football. There should be a bin next to each picnic bench so that people don’t throw rubbish on the floor.
“At this time, the Eco Group were planning a wildflower garden on the field behind the staff room.
“I wanted to do some fundraising for the benches and spoke to Mrs Bloomfield, who helped me by applying for a grant from the Trigg’s Charity so that we could share the money between my project for the benches and the Eco Group’s wildflower area.”
The project is a step closer to completion thanks to the Trigg’s Charity, which was set up by John Trigg of Melbourn in 1821.
He left £2,000 “for the establisment of a school for poor children in Melbourn, Meldreth and a six-mile radius in South Cambridgeshire”.
Trigg’s Charity secretary and treasurer Phil Stewart said: “The school was held in a barn but in 1854 was superseded by an infant’s school built by John Mortlock and the Trigg’s Charity money was distributed in the form of prizes; arithmetic or woodwork for the boys and needlework for the girls.
“Occasionally money was given for a scholarship to a Cambridge school. Nowadays, the money is more likely to be requested for library, classroom, playground equipment or computer accessories.
“Each year we are restricted to dispersing only the interest on our capital investment – so we are not talking about huge sums.
“We approach local schools once a year inviting them to apply for a grant for something which would enhance the quality of their school and which fulfills the Trigg’s Charity ethos and the trustees.”
Melbourn Village College is part of the Cam Academy Trust. The school’s Student Support Center caters for pupils with all types of special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).