Access Student Vikki Creates Bangor Campus Community Garden

0 min read

21 September 2023

SERC Access Student Vikki Pinkerton beside Michael Howell, MJH Contracts NI, in the Bangor Community Garden.

As part of their course, SERC’s Access students were presented with a compelling Project-Based Learning challenge - to come up with an idea that would enhance the wellbeing of students on campus.  

SERC Access student Vikki Pinkerton came up with the concept of a ‘SERC Community Garden’ for the project. Vikki has devoted countless hours to the remarkable transformation of the previously overlooked bungalow garden in Bangor and has turned it into a serene area accessible to all SERC students. Vikki's commitment to sustainability shines through every element of the garden, which have been procured by Vikki through donations, salvage efforts and creative upcycling initiative.

Many local businesses contributed to the garden’s creation, including M Large Forestry Equipment, MJH Contracts NI, Blakley Contracts ltd, MacBlairs Bangor, Dulux, Hillmount Bangor, Clearly Aquatics Bangor, Woodstoc, ASDA, Dundonald Nurseries, and SERC Student Company Not A Pot. Many SERC Staff also contributed to the garden’s creation, including Heather Gyle, Owen Parkes, Lyn Howell, Shelley McKee, and David Clements. SERC Plumbing students installed an outside tap at the garden. 

The project has been ongoing since September 2022, and has recently reached completion. As part of the project, Vikki had to remove overgrown trees and ivy from fencing, as well as repaint the fencing. She installed a pathway, power washed the paving, installed a pond, a rockery and several flower beds, which she then filled with flowers. She also planted grass seeds, installed hanging baskets, bird feeders and bug hotels. First year Access students are keen to improve the garden even further in the future.  

Talking about the Garden Project, Vikki said, "It was a great experience working on this project. Wildlife have used the garden frequently since it's been completed, and we hope to see more in the future. I am excited to see how the staff and students use the space too, as I'm sure it will be a great environment to encourage good mental health. Thank you to everyone within SERC and also all the businesses who helped make this project a reality, and in particular the SERC Enterprise Team and Charlotte Buick. Her knowledge and support have been invaluable throughout the project, helping me grow my skills and confidence. "

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