Martin sows seeds of kindness for charity

May 22, 2020

Learning Opportunities lecturer and NESCol Regional Board member, Martin Dear, has been putting his green fingers to work for local charities during lockdown.

Martin has been creating regular video content for his students from the College’s gardening area at Clintery Campus, but he has also been using flowers and tomatoes that were planted by students before social distancing restrictions were in place to help local charities across the North East.

Martin, who also sits on the Board of  the charity Inspire, saw that the organisation were unable to host their annual sunflower growing competition due to the restrictions of lockdown. So he arranged for the forty Sunflower plants that NESCol students had planted previously to be sent to Inspire’s local services in Inverurie, Stonehaven and Aberdeen.

However, the charity – who support adults with a range of learning difficulties and additional support needs – still had outlying branches that needed sunflowers. Martin then arranged for a further 400 sunflower seeds to be distributed, alongside instructions on how to help them grow. But it doesn’t stop there. Martin explains:

“I also made a bespoke video just for Inspire showing the practical steps of how to plant up their seeds and look after them with a dedicated new email for them to contact me should they need to. 

“All of this was based on a donation and act of kindness, which I know my students would approve of.”

Our students’ work and Martin’s kindness have also benefited other local charities, including NHS Charities and Easter Anguston Farm, who employ some of Martin’s former students.

“We had a surplus of tomato plants that we had planned to offer NESCol staff, but now needed a home. I offered these to the local community, providing they make a donation.

“I was inundated with requests and I gave away over 100 plants from the end of my drive. Most people took two so around fifty people have the students’ work growing in their gardens, and charities benefited from the giveaway.” 

Martin is continuing to offer gardening advice to students and community members, and we applaud all of the amazing work he has done for these good causes.

“Gardening allows me to get the physical exercise I need, in an open air environment in most weather conditions. It allows me to be creative, make mistakes and produce many different types of plants, some to eat, and some to admire for their beauty and/or fragrance – all this while I support the natural world in some small way. It leads to a great feeling of accomplishment and wellbeing.

“It is important to actively show and be kind to not just people, but also to nature. I believe being kind provides a positive characteristic that, particularly children but not exclusively, will replicate and it will hopefully become part of their individual makeup in the future.”