Growing Youth

Our Growing Youth High Schools programme provides high school pupils with positive outdoor learning opportunities in horticulture, construction, and landscaping at community gardens across the city. We partner with Edinburgh Council’s Additional Support for Learning Service (ASLS) to support neurodiverse pupils who are struggling with mainstream education. We currently have 18 pupils participating in Growing Youth High Schools and work with over 10 high schools in Edinburgh, operating at three different sites across the city: Muirhouse, Craigmillar, and Hutchison.

Led by experienced Workshop Leaders and supported by Personal Support Assistants, pupils participate in the construction and maintenance of community gardens and other green infrastructure. Pupils develop practical skills and confidence in joinery and landscaping through the construction of timber sheds, poly tunnels, and vegetable growing beds. They also gain skills in horticulture, growing fruit and vegetables which are used in the preparation of community meals, and support local food pantries.

Recently, some Growing Youth pupils have been involved in an impressive shed building project at Hutchison Neighbourhood Garden; while at Muirhouse Neighbourhood Garden, pupils have built raised beds for the local community garden; and in Craigmillar, pupils are about to take on the big task of constructing a poly tunnel at Seaview Respite Unit.

Hear what Cindy, the PSA from Hutchison, thinks about how the Growing Youth team have been getting on…

“There’s been one or two who have been a little anxious about the first session, but once those barriers come down, they start getting to know each other and they’re making friendships, not just in the garden but outside in the community as well. It’s amazing! All the kids that are coming to this group are coming back after Easter because they want to. They’ve asked their schools if they can come back because they’ve enjoyed doing the work.” (Cindy, ASLS PSA)

Click the links below to read more about what our high schoolers have been getting up to in Edinburgh’s community gardens!

Growing Youth-Edible Estates from Glenda Rome on Vimeo.