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Greener Growth recognised with Suffolk Award for work at Riverwalk School, Bury St Edmunds, during coronavirus




A community interest company that rejuvenates neglected areas and makes them ‘biodiversity enhancing’ has been awarded a Suffolk Award for their work at a Bury St Edmunds school over the coronavirus pandemic.

Joannah Metcalfe and Wesley Stanford from Greener Growth met Suffolk’s High Sheriff Edward Creasy and his wife Penny last Friday to be officially handed over the award recognising their work carried out at Riverwalk School since last March, and also their work more broadly across the region.

Joannah said her and her team had been working ‘unremittingly’ over the past year but were shocked to have been recognised with a High Sheriff award.

HIgh Sheriff of Suffolk Edward Creasy presents the Suffolk Award to Joannah Metcalfe from Greener Growth. Picture: Andy Abbott.
HIgh Sheriff of Suffolk Edward Creasy presents the Suffolk Award to Joannah Metcalfe from Greener Growth. Picture: Andy Abbott.

“We were completely stunned,” she said. “We used to enter other competitions but we haven’t touched anything for over a year because we have been so busy.

“So to have some recognition that it wasn’t so easy is nice.”

Greener Growth have been working with Riverwalk School for around four years and in that time have set to work building habitat havens, willow plantations and a new pagoda to offer shade and cover for staff and pupils.

Greener Growth have been working with Riverwalk School for four years. Picture: Andy Abbott.
Greener Growth have been working with Riverwalk School for four years. Picture: Andy Abbott.

Jan Hatchell, headteacher, said it was the company’s willingness to accommodate the school’s needs that had been such a positive for them though.

“We have been finding ways to develop the outside spaces and Greener Growth have little by little developed things for the children,” she said.

She added: “We know exactly what we need for the children.

“Whatever we feel, they will find a way to do it which is why we’ve stuck with them.”

Jan Hatchell, headteacher at Riverwalk School, with former pupil Sandy Mowat. Picture: Mark Westley.
Jan Hatchell, headteacher at Riverwalk School, with former pupil Sandy Mowat. Picture: Mark Westley.

Edward Creasy, the High Sheriff of Suffolk, said: “Despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, Greener Growth has continued working to allow everyone to enjoy the benefits of living in a greener environment, and the wonderful work they have done at the Riverwalk School has been truly inspirational, making a real difference to the pupils’ lives.”

To see the work that Greener Growth does more broadly, go to: www.greenergrowth.co.uk

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