A small rural primary school is to receive support from Scottish Sea Farms as they try and build a community resource for elderly people on the island of Mull.
Lochdonhead Primary School has only 10 pupils but they have been working with the community, growing herbs and vegetables and created a local café. The last polytunnel used by the school was destroyed by stags so they desperately needed a sturdier version and some fencing to keep the wildlife at bay.
Pauline Inglis, Head Teacher, Lochdonhead Primary School, said: “Many of our community are old and retired, no longer driving independently and the bus service is irregular, only accommodating the ferry timetable. Pupils undertook a review to as how we could support the community and a regular cafe was requested, where people could meet and socialise. The pupils used the structure and business plan from the Scottish Enterprise Academy to set up their own business that they named Lochdon Cafe Crafts.
“At the start of this year, unfortunately, our existing polytunnel was very badly damaged due to deer coming into the garden. The new deer fence and greenhouse, funded by Scottish Sea Farms, allows the pupils to grow herbs and vegetable plants for our community. This will develop the pupils’ knowledge and understanding of living and growing as well as benefiting the community by providing a supply of plants which are difficult to obtain on the island.”
Colin Macdonald, Trainee Site Manager at the Scottish Sea Farms site at Scallastle, said: “An enterprise like this needs to be encouraged as there are winners all round within the local community. We are really happy that our Heart of the Community fund will help this budding business and help the pupils grow some delicious food.”
Lochdonhead Primary School was recently shortlisted in the Scottish Education Awards in the Enterprise and Employability Across Learning Award (Primary and Early Years). The school is also a finalist in the Scotland’s Finest Woods Award for work done in its Forest School.