A STUNNING makeover could be coming to a school in desperate need of refurbishment.
Coppice Spring School, in Pack Lane, Basingstoke, is one of the nominations in the Gazette’s competition to win a £5,000 garden makeover.
The Gazette has teamed up with leading groundworks contractor Tithegrove to offer our readers the chance to win a major refurbishment.
Tithegrove is expanding its work into Hampshire, with new offices in Winchester and a big recruitment drive under way.
Tithegrove is keen to give something back to the community and is inviting local community groups, charities, schools and churches to apply to the competition.
Coppice Spring School is just one of the nominations and a judging panel from Tithegrove will decide the final winner at a later date.
Greg Tucker, regional director of Tithegrove, said: “We’re pleased the competition is off to a flying start and we would encourage other worthy causes to apply.
“It’s going to be a tough decision deciding the winner.”
John Gaston, a child welfare officer at Basingstoke Town Football Club, entered the school into the competition after seeing for himself how much work needs doing in the school’s grounds.
The club currently helps to maintain the school’s football pitch.
Matthew McLoughlin-Parker, headteacher, was unaware of the nomination, but was delighted when he heard the news.
The school, which became an academy in 2014, caters for children between 11 and 16 with complex social and emotional needs.  
Mr McLoughlin-Parker said: “The quality of accommodation is widely recognised as some of the poorest within Hampshire and yet it caters for our most vulnerable children.
“The school grounds are quite significant in size.
“Over a significant number of years they have fallen into a state of disrepair.
“There has been a significant strain placed upon school finances as a result.
“We would like to create an environment where children develop a sense of self-esteem because they know they are going somewhere they feel is a pleasant place to be and they are valued.
“The environment should also be somewhere they have contributed to. 
“That will help create a sense of belonging and pride and raise their aspirations.”
There are a number of areas around the school grounds that could benefit from the makeover, including the front of the school and a central square within the building.
Mr McLoughlin-Parker added: “It would be lovely to transform it into a sensory garden where children can go and find a sense of calm and peace.
“Winning this competition would make a significant difference to the school.”
“It could create a focal point for the school for the children to feel a sense of pride about their school.”
Mr Gaston said: “It would mean absolutely everything if they won.”
Tithegrove, which has more than 30 years of experience in delivering outstanding groundworks and landscaping, is offering a makeover worth £5,000 to the lucky winner.
Tithegrove will put its significant resources and know-how to transform the garden or open space.
To enter the competition write to Tithegrove Competition, Test Lane, Redbridge, Southampton, SO16 9JX or email details to anne.dickie@dailyecho.co.uk.
For more information about Tithegrove and its work visit www.tithegrove.co.uk, call 01793 509600 or e-mail enquiries@tithegrove.co.uk