Students create Brockswood Animal Sanctuary’s own Quite Zone

Students from Dudley College have been putting their skills to use at Brockswood Animal Sanctuary in Sedgley, where they are working on a number of projects to transform and refurbish areas of the popular visitor’s attraction.

The college and Brockswood Animal Sanctuary staff have worked together over a number of years to offer students’ real-life, hands-on experience, but on this recent project the construction students worked with the entry level animal care learners on a special  scheme to create a Quite Zone.

The idea for a Quite Zone came from the entry level students, some of whom have autism and learning disabilities. Whilst at Brockswood they often found the café area very noisy, especially for those with heightened sensory problems, so a small area close to the café was identified as an ideal spot for a quite and calm space they could chill out in.

After the mammoth task of clearing the area the students hunted down materials they could reclaim and up-cycle to transform the Quite Zone. Felled trees were turned into bark, slabs were re-laid and logs and a new retainer wall were used to create flowerbeds. Now the area has been dressed with tree lights, strawberry plants and will soon have a large mosaic table the Quite Zone is proving popular with visitors.

Shaun Rhodes, 17 who’s currently studying a Diploma in Brickwork said, “It’s really great to put something back into the community and make a small difference. I really hope everyone enjoys what we’ve created.”

Katie Lavender, tutor on the Animal Care course explained, “We’ve been planning and working on this project since last September so it’s great to see it near completion. The students and staff from Foundation Supported Learning studying Animal Care have worked with mainstream construction students to create the Quite Zone. This collaboration has brought together two very different college departments for the first time and everyone involved in the creation of the Quite Zone has a huge sense of pride and fulfilment.

“All the students involved have learnt new skills and helped to create a lasting legacy at Brockswood, which the staff at the centre are extremely pleased with. After the success of this first project, we’ve plans to carry on refurbishing other areas of the centre.”