Norman Hambrook, the owner and managing director of Hambrook Landscapes, will shortly enjoy the culmination of a working life's service to the industry, according to the colleagues who insist he's up for the Horticulture Week Lifetime Achievement Award. His company is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
There's a bigger picture. As a founder member and past chairman of the Association of Professional Landscapers, Hambrook has given freely of his time throughout his career to nurture new landscaping talent through skills training. Others at this point may have taken a step back to relax. Not Hambrook.
He is now taking his personal involvement a step further by establishing a Landscape Academy at his Curdridge site to deliver training to staff from other landscape companies. And as an active member of BALI his experience is helping to inform skills and industry issues at regional and national levels.
The Southampton-based company he set up in 1970 now employs 85 staff and is one of the country's leading family-owned landscaping companies. It includes landscape and grounds upkeep divisions, a garden centre and a wholesale nursery and landscaping materials supply operation.
But there's more to life than work, and Hambrook supports the Alzheimer's Society. Last year, aged 62, he laced up walking boots and trekked across Nepal; next year it's a 350km cycle ride across Cuba. Closer to home, he is a trustee of Solent Mind and his firm recently built a sensory garden for a hospital in Southsea.
"It is entirely appropriate that a man who has nurtured more than a generation of designers and landscapers and has given time to improving industry training and standards while quietly supporting charitable causes is recognised by a national award of this stature," say colleagues and a host of industry and association leaders who supported his nomination.
City & Guilds NPTC Land-based industries are very diverse and each sector needs a qualified workforce with a comprehensive set of skills. City & Guilds NPTC is about recognising skill and achievement in the rural industries through a system of credible and recognised qualifications.