Welcome

Welcome sessions are fun, hands-on gardening workshops that help schools warmly welcome and integrate refugee children into their school community.

The Welcome programme began in June 2022 in response to the Afghan and Ukrainian humanitarian crises. One of our expert gardeners goes into schools to give displaced children who recently arrived from all parts of the world the opportunity to explore nature in a fun and calm environment, connect with their new surroundings and learn new skills.

Gardening has fantastic mental health and well-being benefits and is a great way to promote a sense of belonging and community spirit. We also invite the children to bring along a buddy from their year group, helping them overcome any language barriers and build lasting friendships.

  • Children gardening
    Children gardening
  • Children gardening
    Children gardening
  • Children gardening
    Children gardening
  • Child's drawing of school garden
    Child's drawing of school garden

“The eldest boy who joined us said, 'A lettuce seed is so tiny, it's as small as an ant's foot!' Such a brilliant observation.” – SFM Gardener

“The buddy approach worked really well, particularly as one of the older British girls spoke their native language. We did a lot through modelling and demonstrating. When we were planting seeds in small groups, the sense of calm and delicacy was wonderful.

"All the children responded to the task at hand and were very gentle and careful in the planting. It really was a change of dynamic and time for everyone to focus and relax. They each prepared and planted a row and certainly showed ownership of that work - 'That's my row', 'Those are my radishes'.” – SFM Gardener 

We are keen to continue this wonderful work and are currently exploring funding options. If this is something you want to support, then please get in touch with our Development Manager Dela Foster: dela@schoolfoodmatters.org

Need help setting up your school garden?

Check out our dedicated gardening resources page