A Salford children’s nursery is appealing for shoppers to help them collect seedling kits from Marks and Spencers.

As part of their Little Garden promotion, M&S are giving away seedling kits for every £20 spent.

The children at the nursery are planting these at Peel Patches allotments in Little Hulton.

Taken by Jason Simon

For the children, the allotments have been a great source of both fun and education within the community.

Angela Wallace, director and owner of Care Chiefs, said: “We try and find ways to link in with the community and give the children opportunities that they don’t always have.

“Our local community allotment across the road has just won a grant to do them up so the children go over every two weeks and care to the beds.

“So much has changed over the years, children aren’t allowed to wander into woodlands like we did as kids or play football on the front because ball games aren’t allowed so we just try and give them as much opportunity as possible.”

Organisations such as Incredible Education, who provide nature based services within local communities, visit the nursery.

The organisation helps out with the children’s learning by teaching them about the seeds and where food comes from.

Angela said: “When we went into Marks and Spencer the other day, we just thought it was a great opportunity to get the front of the garden looking nice for the community.

“The kids will put all the seeds in and hopefully we’ll have a lovely garden. The flowers will have a huge impact on brightening up the community.”

“The children plant their own seeds and will use tools like hoes and spades and will water and measure. The younger children will look at colours and smells.

“The kids love it, they love insects. Anything to attract butterflies and all the little grubs.

“This year they’ve started planting lettuce and tomatoes and things. They love just being out in the fresh air, getting back to nature and learning those skills.”

Angela added: “At the moment we’re looking for the M&S seedlings but we’re always on the shout out.

“We’re currently running The Curiosity Approach which is about replacing toys and giving authentic materials for the children. The children are playing with authentic materials and real tea sets instead of plastic ones so we’re always on the shoutout for those.

“Cameras and old technology is a big thing for us to try and find because they can be expensive.

“One thing we can’t find is an old-school projector. We’d love one of those so we can put images on the wall for kids”

Loren Disley, manager of Care Chiefs, said: “The idea behind it is that there’s a lot of restriction with plastic toys. If you give children bits of wood and cogs and things like that, they can fix together and make things. We’re looking at a more open ended approach to challenge the children and further their learning.”

As well as getting involved with the allotments, the nursery also finds several other ways of giving back to the community.

Angela said: “We also help out with The local Rainbows and Bolton community kitchen for the homeless who we make food parcels for so we do a lot in the community.

“We’ve been given toys in the past that may not be suitable for the age or the development of the children but we pass them on to a different charity that can use them.”

The nursery was also recently a runner up in the National Nursery Recognition Awards 2020.

Angela said of the workers at the nursery: “We are really proud of the girls.

“It’s nice that people have voted for us and it’s a massive achievement for five years and the girls are really proud of themselves.

“From when we first started with just a few toys and a bit of equipment, the girls have done the community really proud and the commitment they have to the families is lovely.”

If you are able to help the Care Chiefs nursery in any way, donations would be greatly appreciated at the address below

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