A project to grow and sell fruit and vegetables has taken root at the Academy thanks to the generosity of our local football club, Exeter City FC.

In May, Exeter City FC donated 40 tonnes of topsoil to us following the club’s pitch renovations at St James’ Park. The football club’s topsoil is now being recycled and put to horticultural use in our garden nursery and help develop a new social enterprise called ‘Grow Make Sell’. Our enterprise aims to provide work related learning and experience for students.

Exeter City Football Club Estates Manager, Clive Pring said “It’s great to know that the topsoil will not be going to waste, and that we are able to support such a worthy local charity. We look forward to receiving updates on how the project is progressing over time”.

Since St James’ Park delivered the huge pile of soil to Exeter Deaf Academy, it’s been a big team effort for our students to fill and plant up raised beds, containers and a poly-tunnel, providing a great opportunity for them to contribute towards their Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Exeter Deaf Academy teacher John Lilley said, ‘The donated soil from Exeter City Football Club has made a huge difference to us. It’s great to think a part of St James’ Park football pitch is now being used to grow crops! We have already been able to plant out our beds this year ready for sale of fruit and veg later this term’.

John continued, ‘Any soil leftover will also allow us to expand our garden nursery even further next year. We also need to thank Mole Valley Farmers for donating pallets of compost too. We’ve had some fantastic support from the local community’.

Exeter City Football Club’s short film below shows the pitch renovations in action. (No subtitles).