Friday 23 May 2014
RHS Chelsea Flower Show designer will help get more secondary schools gardening
After being awarded a Gold medal for his Show Garden at this year’s Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show, sponsored by M&G Investments, Adam Frost is to become an RHS Ambassador. As part of his new role, Adam will help the influential gardening charity in its bid to encourage more secondary schools to embrace gardening, as well as to help raise the profile of horticultural careers.
Adam, a father of four, is now the winner of four consecutive Gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and is hugely passionate about getting the next generation gardening. A team of young people from the Homebase Garden Academy helped with the build of his garden and he shares the charity’s ambition to bring horticulture to the lives of all young people for the many benefits it brings, and to inspire pupils to think about the horticultural industry when considering their careers.
Adam said: “It’s a real honour to accept such an important role and one that I feel so strongly about. I believe all children should be given the opportunity to garden at school, and the RHS does a great job through its Campaign for School Gardening – to which more than two thirds of all UK schools have signed up. A big aim of the RHS, and of mine, is to get more secondary schools involved.
“I’ve been really inspired by what this year’s Homebase students have achieved – especially putting all of the skills they’ve learnt into practice by helping to build the Homebase Show Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
“They are so passionate about what they do, so we need to change perceptions of gardening as a career and promote it to all youngsters when they’re planning their future careers.”
Research carried out last year* revealed that more than 80% of secondary school teachers said they hadn’t received any information about careers in the industry. Today, as part of the industry-wide Horticulture Matters campaign**, Adam hosted a breakfast at RHS Chelsea Flower Show attended by 100 budding horticulturists and secondary-school students to promote the breadth of career opportunities in horticulture.
RHS Head of Education and Learning Sarah Cathcart, said: “We’re so pleased that Adam will help us raise the profile of school gardening. At the moment a big focus of ours is to get more secondary schools interested in growing because gardening just isn’t important to younger pupils. Currently only 37% of senior schools have signed up to the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and we hope having Adam on board will help us reach out to more.”
Adam’s appointment comes after the charity announced earlier this week that Mary Berry is its RHS Ambassador for Grow Your Own and in November that Alan Titchmarsh is its first Founder RHS Ambassador. Earlier this year, James Wong was revealed as the RHS Ambassador with a special focus on horticultural science, and Nick Knowles was announced as RHS Ambassador for community gardening.
The RHS Chelsea Appeal 2014 at this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show is raising funds to help the charity engage with more secondary schools. The RHS is also raising funds to create more horticultural apprentice positions over the next five years at its four gardens: RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey, RHS Garden Harlow Carr in North Yorkshire, RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Essex and RHS Garden Rosemoor in Devon.
Notes to editors
For more information, please contact Ed Horne in the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3356 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Censuswide was commissioned by the RHS to conduct the Survey to 500 Senior School Teachers in March 2013:
• Of the 500 teachers questioned more than 91% discuss careers with pupils.
• Only 16% of the teachers, who discuss careers with pupils, highlight horticulture.
• 65% of teachers who discuss horticulture careers highlight Gardener roles.
• 61% of teachers who discuss horticulture careers highlight Landscape Designer roles.
• 22% of teachers who discuss horticulture careers highlight Sportsturf manager roles.
• 14% of teachers who discuss horticulture careers highlight Aboriculturist roles.
• 81% of teachers say they are not aware of the career development opportunities in horticulture.
• 22% of teachers say pupils would not be interested.
• 67% of teachers are not aware of horticultural qualifications.
• 84% of teachers have not been given information about horticulture in the last three years.
• Of the 15% who were given information 84% found it useful.
** Industry-wide initiative headed by the RHS aims to close the skills gap in the horticultural industry: http://www.rhs.org.uk/education-learning/careers-horticulture/horticulture-matters
About Homebase Garden Academy:
The Homebase Garden Academy is a pioneering scheme set up between Homebase and award-winning garden designer Adam Frost to help raise the profile of a career in gardening, and inspire gardening talent of the future.
The scheme offers apprentices a broad experience of gardening and horticulture. Each month, time will be spent learning from Adam about garden planning and design; a key partner to develop detailed product knowledge covering planting and landscaping; and learning practical horticultural skills to earn a Royal Horticultural Society Level 1 Award.
About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood for the encouragement and improvement of the science, art and practice of horticulture. 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.
Today the RHS is committed to providing a voice for all gardeners. We are driven by a simple love of plants and a belief that gardeners make the world a better place. 210 years on we continue to safeguard and advance the science, art and practice of horticulture, creating displays that inspire people to garden. In all aspects of our work we help gardeners develop by sharing our knowledge of plants, gardens and the environment.
RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk/join
RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262