Ambassadors prepare for first YoungHort conference set to be staged at RHS Wisley

YoungHort ambassadors have explained how they became involved ahead of their inaugural conference at RHS Wisley today.

YoungHort Ambassador Fiona Willetts - image: RHS
YoungHort Ambassador Fiona Willetts - image: RHS
At 16, Fiona Willetts is a prodigious and well-known user of Twitter, something she believes is a great tool for business communication, gaining contacts and campaigning.

She said: "In the future the horticulture profession could be more widely understood and known about because of the use of social media making it very important now."

Willetts became an ambassador because she thought it would be a good opportunity to meet others in the industry.

"It's great, hardworking but fun at the same time. All the ambassadors have the same general interest in horticulture."

Daniel Hopkins, 20, is based in Bromsgrove as a horticulture support worker working with people with learning difficulties. He said YoungHort would have helped him when his second level college course was cancelled and he did not know what to do.

"I want to help others who find themselves in a similar situation. Everybody I know in the industry is middle aged or older. The ways we get into the industry are so different now.

The group, only some of whom knew each other in real life before YoungHort, got together on Twitter and have been using it and other social media to create a buzz about their project and to promote their first conference, held at RHS Wisely this afternoon (March 7).

Television botanist James Wong, garden designer Paul Hervey-Brookes and Thompson and Morgan new product development director Michael Perry are booked to attend.

Hopkins, who as "a bit of a fan of James Wong", is excited about the conference line-up, said he could not think of any other way the group would have found each other except for Twitter.

"The conference should be great – I've not met any of the others yet. It will be good for us to get together. I've felt a bit isolated before, so seeing that there are other young horticulturalists out there and it's not just me was amazing."

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