Tuesday 7 June 2016
Lib Dem peer to help communities and young people access the health and wellbeing benefits of gardening
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) today, (23 May), announced that Baroness Floella Benjamin, OBE is to be the charity’s latest high-profile ambassador. In her new role Lady Benjamin will focus on promoting the vital benefits that access to plants, gardens and gardening can deliver to communities and young people.
Floella, who built a successful career as a children’s TV presenter on iconic shows including Play School, Play Away and Fast Forward, will join Alan Titchmarsh, Mary Berry, Nick Knowles, Chris Beardshaw, Jekka McVicar, Adam Frost, George Hassall and Jamie Butterworth as RHS Ambassadors.
Baroness Benjamin has always been a vociferous champion of the rights of children and has continued to do so since being made a life peer in 2010. She has campaigned on behalf of all children for access to high-quality education, to participate in the arts and to enjoy improved health outcomes. She has been a Vice-President of children’s charity Barnardo’s since 2004.
Speaking about her appointment Baroness Benjamin said: “It is a great honour to be afforded the opportunity to bring together areas of my life that I’m incredibly passionate about, gardening and building happier, healthier and more equitable communities for all.
“I’m a great believer in role models and the impact that committed and active advocates can have on the lives of others. I’m proud to join the other excellent ambassadors who are opening up the world of gardening to new audiences. Nature connects us all spiritually and the earlier we can give children the opportunity to be involved the better.”
RHS Director General Sue Biggs said: “I’m really excited to have Lady Benjamin join us as our latest ambassadors. The unique position she holds within the heart of the nation and the corridors of power will mean that she can reach out to a wide range of people.
“Lady Benjamin’s love of horticulture and her passionate defence of the rights of all communities to enjoy the best quality of life possible will help the RHS transform more lives through gardening.”
As part of its charitable purpose the RHS works with more than 28,000 schools and youth
groups across the country. Via its Campaign for School Gardening the RHS reaches 5.5million young people.
More than 300,000 people volunteer to be part of the RHS Britain in Bloom campaign, making it Europe’s biggest community gardening movement.
For more information, please contact Garfield Myrie in the RHS Press Office
on 020 7821 3060 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
Images of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show are available to download at www.photoshelter.com
Please email the RHS Press Office at email@example.com for instructions on how to create an account.
Full details of all exhibitors are available on the RHS Media Centre. Please visit http://press.rhs.org.uk/
To apply for media accreditation to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show from January 2016, please visit http://press.rhs.org.uk/
RHS Chelsea Flower Show (24 – 28 May 2016)
23 May Press Day
24 – 25 May RHS members only
26 – 28 May RHS members and non-members
24 – 27 May 8am – 8pm
28 May 8am – 5.30pm (sell off starts at 4pm)
Venue: Royal Hospital, Chelsea, London SW3 4SL
To book tickets 0844 338 7546* or www.rhs.org.uk/chelsea
* Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.
Ticket prices range from £23 to £68
About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood to inspire passion and excellence in the science, art and practice of horticulture. Our vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener, healthier, happier and more beautiful place. We believe everyone in every village, town and city should benefit from growing plants to enhance lives, build stronger, healthier, happier communities and create better places to live.
We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, our flagship garden, in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity. At our gardens and shows and through our scientific research, publications, libraries and our education and community programmes we inspire a passion for gardening and growing plants, promote the value of gardens, demonstrate how gardening is good for us and explain the vital roles that plants undertake.
The RHS is committed to bring the joy of gardening to millions more people, inspire the next generation of gardeners and invest in the future to safeguard a £10.4 billion industry employing more than 300,000 people. We are entirely funded by our members, visitors and supporters. RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and help us secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 020 3176 5820, or visit www.rhs.org.uk/join
RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262