Charitable Activities

One of the key objectives of the Company is to support charitable activities connected with horticulture. It fulfils this objective both directly and via its support of an independent charity.

Examples of the work of the Charity and the Company are summarised below.

The Worshipful Company of Gardeners of London Charity is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation registered with the Charity Commission and numbered 1198790.

The main areas that the Charity supports are:

Education and training in horticulture.

Conservation, maintenance and improvement of the environment.

Changing public attitudes towards the natural environment for the better.

Advancement of horticulture through science.

Charities connected to The City of London.

The Charity is a separate body from the Company and is administered by its Board of Trustees. Trustees are drawn from members of the Company. The Renter and Upper Wardens, Master and Immediate Past Master are ex officio Trustees while holding office.

The Charity is funded by members of The Company, in many cases donating to the Charity annually. In addition it has an investment portfolio.

Some examples of the Charity's work are:

The Charity funds prizes allowing the Company to present awards for horticulture students at Capel Manor College, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, RHS Wisley, Writtle College and the Royal Parks Guild.

We match fund with City and Guilds' support for two apprenticeships in horticulture, enabling individuals to increase their horticultural knowledge and improve their life chances.

The Charity assists the Company in funding The Flowers in the City campaign which aims to encourage the planting of gardens,courtyards, atria, roofgardens, window boxes, troughs, tubs and hanging baskets to beautify the City. As well as promoting horticulture the campaign helps to improve mental health as people move about the Square Mile.

The majority of the Charity’s grants are provided to organisations not connected to the Company; these include:

Gardening for the Disabled Trust, London Children’s Flower Society, London Garden Society, London in Bloom, Metropolitan Public Gardens Association, Professional Gardeners’ Trust, Harington Scheme and Thrive.

For further information about the Charity, please contact the Secretary.

You may apply for a grant from the charity here.

The Company has provided generous support for Future Gardeners. This is a programme run jointly with the Bankside Open Spaces Trust. Its aim is to give an opportunity for those mostly from Southwark and the surrounding boroughs who want a career in Horticulture but, due to personal challenges and/or other circumstances, have not been able to acquire the necessary skills and certification to get into the sector.

The Future Gardeners scheme not only helps individuals achieve their ambition but also supports the horticultural industry in London to address a crisis due to a lack of suitable and qualified staff (72% of horticultural businesses have trouble recruiting and 10% of all vacancies take over a year to fill).

The Company and the Charity are delighted that Future Gardeners has recently become a charity in its own right (Charity Number 1191623). The Company is keen to maintain its close links with Future Gardeners going forwards.

Future Gardeners works towards City and Guilds Qualifications and arranges talks by industry leaders and help with applying for and getting first jobs in horticulture.

More information about Future Gardeners is available in the Future Gardeners section of the website.

The Company also provides major support for its Schools Outreach project. The key objective of the project is to open the eyes of young people to the 60+ careers available to them under the umbrella of horticulture, and to encourage them to pursue this career. The Schools Outreach project provides a means of engaging with a diverse range of school children of different ages and backgrounds, with the objective of introducing them to the myriad career opportunities in horticulture. The project achieves this primarily through presentations to schools and outings to spark the interest of school children in horticulture.

The Company presents awards to students of horticulture at Capel Manor College, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, RHS Wisley, Writtle College and the Royal Parks.

The Company has also attracted matched funding from City and Guilds to establish and support apprenticeships in horticulture enabling many individuals to improve their lives for the better.

The Company also supports the Prince of Wales’ Trophy, which is presented annually (following a national open competition) to the student adjudged to have contributed most to the field of sustainable horticulture.Trophies are also awarded to other deserving organisations and causes.

The Company organises the Flowers in the City campaign. Its aim is to encourage the planting of gardens, courtyards, atria, roof gardens, window boxes, troughs, tubs and hanging baskets to beautify the City. The award, made by the Lord Mayor, of trophies and plaques for meritorious displays (Summer) takes place annually at Mansion House. The award for Winter displays takes place annually at Cutlers' Hall.

The Company has close links with the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association, a long established charity which strives to preserve and improve gardens, neglected sites and green open spaces across London, as well as with The London Children's Flower Society and the London Gardens Society. The Metropolitan Public Gardens Association is seeking a new Secretary and a new Grants Officer. If you are interested in finding out about these opportunities please click the links.

The Master, whilst in office, represents the Company on a variety of charitable committees. Other members of the Company sit on those committees in their own right and also contribute their time and expertise to numerous other organisations for the furtherance of the craft and in pursuit of the Company's objectives. The Company is privileged to present a gift of produce each year to the Lord Mayor.

Flowers in the city
One of the winning entries from the Flowers in the City Summer Competition.
Future Gardeners Graduates with Project Manager Louisa Mansfield (fourth from the right) and Past Master Paul Rochford (fifth from the right).