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 - The Worshipful Company of Gardeners of London Charity RCN 222079.

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

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), and are keen to maintain the close links with it going forwards.

Future Gardeners works towards City and Guilds Qualifications and receive talks from industry leaders and help with applying for and getting their first job in horticulture.

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

The Company also provides major support for the Livery, Schools Link (LSL). The key objective of LSL 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. LSL 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. LSL 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 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.

The Worshipful Company of Gardeners of London 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 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.

The Charity 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

• Thrive

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.

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

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).