Community Involvement Award - Woodcote Green Garden Centre

Woodcote Green Garden Centre has built up relationships with 228 schools, mainly across south London, with its Green Fingered Kids scheme designed to get more schools and school children growing and gardening.

Community Involvement Award - Woodcote Green Garden Centre - image: Woodcote GC
Community Involvement Award - Woodcote Green Garden Centre - image: Woodcote GC
"As a business you get bombarded with requests for assistance. We were looking for a way to help as many people as possible but for that you need them to help themselves to some extent," says manager Phil Barnden.

Its latest idea is a Horticultural Enterprise Pack, which went out to schools in March. The boxes, supported by Westland Horticulture, include compost, seven types of seeds, seed trays, pots, plant labels and growing advice, along with tips on ways to use the "garden centre in a box".

Woodcote Green also promotes school vouchers, each worth 25p and given out with every £10 spent. Newsletters, advice and curriculum links supplements the packs. The annual Woodcote Green Horticulture Show encourages children to show off what they have grown.

Explaining the centre's approach, Barnden says: "We don't only do things for profit. But a school satchel is a powerful tool - there are 70,000 parents and grandparents we can reach that way."

Highly Commended
Coolings Nurseries
The Gardens Group
Award sponsor - Sinclair


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