Published on: Monday, April 22, 2024

Demonstrating both compassion and ingenuity a King's pupil has devised a wheelchair-friendly planter as part of her A Level project, enriching the lives of residents at Stockmoor Lodge nursing home by reconnecting them with the joy of gardening.

Lilly-Anne is an Upper Sixth Design Technology scholarship pupil at King’s and as part of her A Level major project, she set out to design and build an accessible planter that she would donate to the Stockmoor Lodge nursing home. She answered the design problem; there is a lack of accessibility within gardening, especially for people who are in wheelchairs.

To design a product that the nursing home residents could use to solve this issue, Lilly worked closely with the nursing home throughout the project to come up with a finalist idea that met the brief, and that was something that positively impacted the residents. After sketches of the finalist idea, with feedback from the nursing home, Lilly was able to draw the design up on Fusion360 which allowed her to create orthographic drawings showing all the measurements that would be needed to build the prototype planter. Lilly built the planter in the school workshop using a variety of techniques. The planter was then donated to the nursing home and shown to the residents. The nursing home staff said: “It will be a great addition to the balcony and allow the residents a more accessible way to do gardening and connect with the outdoor space.”

When the planter was first shown to the residents, one of them said: “The planter reminded me of my childhood on the farm. I spent lots of time on the farm with my family.” This showed first-hand the positive impact that accessible designs can and do have on the people in our community.

King's has a number of pupils who have been awarded the prestigious Arkwright Engineering Scholarship. In addition to this, we have had pupils recognised for their outstanding DT work by The Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation, which is the most highly prized award given to pupils who have demonstrated a high standard of craftsmanship in their project work. For a small school, we have an extensive range of equipment in our DT Centre that enables our pupils to manufacture a range of products. They develop of range of modern and traditional skills and techniques under the watchful eyes of our highly experienced and accomplished staff.

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