The Future Gardeners project has been one of the most successful of the Gardeners Company initiatives in the last few years and it is now time to develop this exciting project further.
Beginning as an idea formed by Paul Rochford and Mike Fitt some six or so years ago its aim is to provide horticultural and “work ready” training to people who have been long-term unemployed or who have faced challenges in their lives and would benefit from gaining confidence, skills and the opportunity of training and employment.
Training involves acquiring horticultural skills, having work experience with some of our wonderful partners, garden visits, demonstrations and talks and lectures as well as practising interview technique and writing CVs. Graduates receive a City and Guilds qualification in horticulture as well as a certificate from the Gardeners Company to aid their job search.
Over its 5 years as a Company project Future Gardeners has run 10 courses and over 100 people have graduated with a high number then gaining employment. Many have gone on to further their horticultural education and careers by becoming apprentices and there is a steadily growing number making names for themselves in the world of horticulture.
Future Gardeners is currently funded on a 50-50 basis by the Gardeners’ Company and Bankside Open Spaces Trust (BOST), our delivery partner, and now has a full year budget of approximately £100,000.
It was decided that in order to grow the project to a level not possible with the limited funds available from the Company and BOST registration with the Charity Commission should be sought so that funds could be obtained from other sources. This was achieved last October with the registered number - 1191623.
We have proved that the concept works and now hope to expand the offering, to other parts of London to begin with, but if it works in London it will work in Glasgow or Belfast or anywhere in the United Kingdom.
The report on the fourth year of the project is below. The pandemic curtailed the fifth year but the report on what we achieved in recent times will be published soon. In the meantime, the next course is scheduled to begin on 17 May 2021.
We are all looking forward to seeing this great idea blossom.
7th April 2021
Registered Charity Number: 1191623