Reflection garden open at Brinkworth Earl Danby’s Primary School

A garden dedicated to the memory of a much-loved member of staff has opened at a school thanks to the support of the Malmesbury community.

Pupils and teachers at Brinkworth Earl Danby’s Primary School site in Dauntsey now have a quiet place to escape the hustle and bustle of school life which is dedicated to Sue Oldland.

As the school adjusts to a post-pandemic world, staff wanted to help children manage a good state of mental health and provide a space for them to remember loved ones.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard:

Charities the Malmesbury Area Community Trust and Royal Wootton Bassett & District Rotary Club donated to the project, while the school has also done its own fundraising.

Former Malmesbury School pupil Tom Windle, owner of landscape gardening company Gardenscape, created the garden.

“The past two years have been tough for everyone – but especially for children – which is why I wanted to give up my time and support this project,” he said.

“I’m so proud of what has been achieved and am delighted that the pupils will also have the chance to put their green-fingers to use and keep the garden looking as fresh as a daisy!”

A memorial bench for Mrs Oldland, who died last year and worked at the school as an admin officer before retiring in 2018, has been placed in the garden.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Sue Oldland with her granddaughter MillieSue Oldland with her granddaughter Millie

The Oldland family were present at the official opening of the garden on Friday, June 17 along with pupils and staff and representatives from Malmesbury Area Community Trust and RWB Rotary Club.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Mr Oldland cuts the ribbon alongside headteacher Laura HilliardMr Oldland cuts the ribbon alongside headteacher Laura Hilliard

Laura Hilliard, headteacher at Brinkworth Earl Danby’s Primary School, said: “As we adjust to the new normal, it became very clear to us that our children need a devoted quiet, reflection space outdoors where they can gather their thoughts, take time out or even learn in a new environment.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Sue Oldland with her granddaughter, Millie.Sue Oldland with her granddaughter, Millie.

“Sadly, some pupils lost someone special during the pandemic, and the school itself lost a much-loved staff member of 12 years – Mrs Oldland – due to cancer last year.

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“As a fitting memorial to Mrs Oldland who loved our school so much, a bench has been dedicated to her and now sits in our beautiful reflection garden.”

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