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Published: March 8, 2020 | Updated: March 8, 2020

Biz News round-up: Plants help sixth formers, charity trek raises £65k and alpacas visit home

Sarajane Wingrove (left) with Jonathan Robson, Sandra Wilkinson and Rebecca Moy from Stewarts.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Plants used to help improve wellbeing of sixth formers

Plants are being used at Poole High School to help the wellbeing of sixth formers.

Stewarts Garden Centres was approached following research into wellbeing by Sarajane Wingrove, Acting Sixth Form Assistant Headteacher.

It resulted in Rebecca Moy, Landscaping Manager, Jonathan Robson, Interior Landscaping Assistant Manager and team member Sandra Wilkinson making a delivery of plants especially chosen to enhance areas used by the 300 students.

The school researched ways of helping the wellbeing of its students and discovered that being around plants and nature improves wellbeing, both physically and mentally.

Various studies have shown that, when surrounded by plants, mood and stress levels improve, while blood pressure, fatigue and headaches are reduced.

Sarajane said: “We are delighted with the donation.

“Research shows that plants help to create a relaxing, tranquil environment that will enhance the wellbeing of our students as they strive for greater academic achievement.

“A better environment will boost their positivity as they face the stresses of their day to day lives both in education and their private lives.”

Rebecca Moy said that the plants will be maintained by the team on a regular basis.

Each plant has been chosen to fit locations with either high or low light levels and temperature changes.

She added: “For decades we have been providing plants across the region to commercial and industrial businesses, educational establishments and catering facilities requiring healthy plants to enhance their working environments.

“I am confident that the benefits will be enjoyed by the students and staff at the school.”

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Not Just Travel’s gruelling charity trek raises £65k for good causes

Not Just Travel has proved that charity really does start at home by raising more than £65,000 for good causes.

Some of the ‘invincible’ 51-strong team from Not Just Travel who reached the Lost City of Columbia.

As reported on Dorset Biz News, teams from the Christchurch-based travel franchise company battled torrential rain and gruelling humidity to trek through the jungle to the Lost City of Columbia last autumn.

The company said they were ‘over the moon’ with the amount they had raised, which will go to hundreds of good causes across the UK, as well as mental health charity Mind.

Not Just Travel’s travel franchisees could choose to support any charity they wish or join the HQ team in supporting Mind.

Not Just Travel Co-founder Steve Witt chose to raise money for Mind in honour of his brother Robin who was diagnosed with a rare form of early-onset dementia at just 42.

He said: “We are absolutely over the moon.

“When we started this fundraising mission, we couldn’t imagine we could have raised £65,000 for some incredible causes.

“The truth is this was only possible due to the dedication and determination of our family of travel consultants who have worked tirelessly to raise as much money as possible.

“The trek itself was a true bonding experience and I am so proud of each and every one of them.

“This money will make a huge difference to people’s lives across the UK.”

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Alpaca fun for Oakdale care home residents

Residents at a Poole care home enjoyed a visit from two special guests.

They were alpacas Greyfriars Rufus and Guiness (deliberately spelt with one ‘n’ to avoid confusion with a certain iconic brand).

As part of a wellbeing session, Wendy Williams, of Alpaca Adventure, visited Oakdale care home in Kingsmill Road where her alpacas spent time with residents, many of whom live with dementia.

The alpacas enjoy being around people and animal therapy is believed to have significant health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and stress levels.

The animal contact is also beneficial for those living with dementia, such as establishing eye contact and stretching to stroke them.

During their visit, Wendy and the alpacas spent time in the communal areas as well as individual bedrooms so that all residents, regardless of mobility, could enjoy meeting and stroking them.

Lauren Tompkins, Wellbeing Manager at Oakdale care home, said: “This was a unique opportunity for residents and staff to meet these beautiful animals and find out more about them.”

Oakdale is a purpose-built care home supporting 84 residents, offering residential, nursing and dementia care.

It is part of the Encore family that includes Fairmile Grange in Christchurch and Great Oaks in Bournemouth.