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 - The Worshipful Company of Gardeners of London Charity RCN 222079.
The Charity has its own trustees and administration and raises funds predominantly from members of the Company. Its objects are ‘to support charitable activities connected with horticulture in all its forms (and charitable activities within the City of London)’.
The trustees of the Charity have constituted a panel with responsibility for administering the Charity’s giving strategy. Panel members give careful consideration to all eligible applications against the priorities of the Charity and the available funds, before making a recommendation to the trustees’ board. While provision of financial support is an important part of the work of the Charity, it also uses the expertise, contacts, enthusiasm and commitment of those in the Company to promote horticulture including career development and training.
Examples of the work of the Charity are summarised below.
With the generous support of the Company, a very successful project undertaken by the Charity is 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).
A successful Future Gardener said “I am very glad that the Gardeners Charity gave me the opportunity to participate and complete this programme. It has been a boost to my confidence and has given me purpose and the motivation to improve”.
Future Gardeners work towards City and Guilds Qualifications and receive talks from industry leaders and help with applying for and getting their first job in horticulture
The Charity also provides significant support to the following:
• Gardening for the Disabled Trust
• London Children’s Flower Society
• Flowers in the City
• London Garden Society
• London in Bloom
• Metropolitan Public Gardens Association
• Professional Gardeners’ Trust
The Charity presents awards to students of horticulture at Capel Manor College, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, RHS Wisley, Writtle College and the Royal Parks.
The Charity 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 Charity 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 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.
For further information about the Charity, please contact the Secretary.