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BEST opens first staff wellbeing garden at Etonbury Academy

We have opened our first staff wellbeing garden – underlining our commitment to look after the welfare of the BEST workforce.

As part of our fifth anniversary celebrations last year and amid the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, we pledged to fund and create areas within all our schools and nurseries where staff could relax and take some time for themselves.

The first garden was officially opened at Etonbury Academy on Thursday 19 May.

The small formal ceremony was attended by school staff, BEST trustees and senior leaders as well as invited guests, including Stotfold town mayor Cllr Steve Buck and Gordon Hamilton of local charity The Need Project.

After a speech by BEST Chief Executive Officer Dr Alan Lee, Chair of Trustees Ilona Bond and Etonbury Principal Ian Evason, pictured below, cut the ribbon to declare the garden open.

The tranquil space includes chairs and sunloungers for staff to use, a water feature, hanging baskets and planter beds.

Dr Lee said: “The wellbeing of all really matters at BEST: it is a strategic priority for us. Indeed, our mission is to ‘grow the BEST in everyone’ and compassion is a core value.

“Each day we strive to cultivate kindness and offer gratitude. The Etonbury Academy wellbeing garden is presented by BEST in gratitude for the support, service and kindness all members of the Etonbury community show each other: thank you. 

“We very much look forward to providing wellbeing gardens in all our schools.”

Mr Evason said: “The garden is a lovely space and staff have already been using it to relax in. On behalf of everyone at Etonbury I’d like to give my thanks to our trust for making this commitment to staff wellbeing.”