A DANGEROUSLY overgrown patch of land has been turned into an attractive part of a school – thanks to an amazing nine-hour effort by a nearby company.

Twelve staff from the Ringwood-based Raymond Brown Group took on a charity challenge at Emmanuel Middle School in Verwood.

They assembled at 7am at the school, where they had been left a video from the headmaster and a drawing by a student.

The team then swung into action to transform the unsafe ‘out of bounds’ area, with no money or resources – just their knowhow and contacts in the industry.

Within nine hours they had:

  • Cleared the entire overgrown area;
  • Demolished an old building;
  • Removed a shed;
  • Built a nature garden;
  • Put in a herb garden; and
  • Renovated a seating and play area.


By 4.30pm, the mayor of Verwood, Cllr Pat Morrow, was cutting the ribbon to declare the area open for students. The scheme’s design was created by pupils James and Matthew Gosden, aged nine and 10.

Emmanuel Middle head teacher Jill Watson said: “I can’t believe the group has managed to achieve so much in one day.

“It’s an absolutely amazing transformation which the children will be able to benefit from greatly. I would like to thank the Raymond Brown Group and in particular the 12 people who took part on the day.”

The project formed part of Raymond Brown’s management development programme, which is run in conjunction with training company The Reality Business to nurture the next generation of senior managers.

Raymond Brown group chief executive Kelvin White said of his team: “They were absolutely brilliant. I am so proud. “I would like to thank them for their amazing efforts in delivering this project. It was inspiring to see what can be achieved when a group of people work together as a team.”

Valentina Biles, who was project manager on the day, said: “The Raymond Brown Group and Emmanuel Middle School would like to thank everyone within the local community and the industry for donating so generously. It was remarkable to see how generous everyone was.”