Tuesday 12 April 2016
Successful pilot programme is being rolled out to key locations in England and Scotland
A ground-breaking Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) pilot project that saw a crack team of Britain in Bloom volunteers help school pupils engage with horticulture, is being rolled out at key locations across the country in 2016.
The pilot programme, which took place in the South West of England last year, saw seven highly skilled RHS trained Bloom volunteers support the development and progression of school gardening projects in schools that had little or no history of gardening.
The pilot, which ran for six months and was coordinated by the RHS Community Outreach Advisor in the South West, resulted in 65 pupils experiencing the wide variety of learning opportunities associated with gardening, some for the very first time.
The success of the programme, which saw pupils attending regular school gardening clubs, participating in extra-curricular activities and in one case, developing an 80 strong waiting list to be part of the club, convinced the RHS to roll out the project to schools in Gloucestershire, Norwich and Scotland.
Twelve primary schools in England and a mix of seven secondary and primary schools in Scotland are part of the 2016 roll out. The RHS is currently working with its army of volunteers to identify those ‘super Bloomers’, It’s Your Neighbourhood gardeners and other keen volunteers who will spearhead future phases of the project.
Speaking about the initiative RHS Community Outreach Manager Kay Clark said: “The aim of this project is to support more schools, pupils, teachers and their families to unlock the learning, social and wellbeing benefits of gardening.
“Everyone wins with this project. Our hugely experienced and highly skilled volunteers have the opportunity to share their passion for horticulture with young people and really inspire them. Young people are able to learn in new and engaging ways and teachers have the opportunity to bring variety, challenge and a new dimension to their lessons.
“This year we will be challenging our volunteers to link their school gardening activities to the curriculum, progress their schools through the RHS Campaign for School Gardening Awards and increase the impact of the incredible work they are already doing.”
Notes to editors
For more information please contact Garfield Myrie at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 821 3060
RHS Britain in Bloom is the UK’s largest community gardening campaign, involving up to 300,000 volunteers. As part of RHS Britain in Bloom, volunteers in cities, towns, villages, urban communities and neighbourhoods work together to improve their environment, using gardening as a tool. RHS Britain in Bloom also includes grassroots community gardening scheme RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood which supports community groups in greening and cleaning their immediate local environment - whether that’s the street they live in, or a small patch of communal land needing a revamp.
To find out more, visit: www.rhs.org.uk/communities
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 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, through our scientific research, website, publications, libraries, education and community programmes we inspire a passion for gardening and growing plants. We’re committed to promoting the value of gardens, demonstrating how gardening is good for us and explaining the vital roles that plants play in a sustainable world.
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