The David Colegrave Foundation announce winners of the first Blue Diamond Scholarships

The David Colegrave Foundation have announced this year's scholarship awards, totalling over £25,000 and benefitting 11 students.

Katie Pardoe
Katie Pardoe

The awards have supported students from nine colleges and universities.

The new Blue Diamond Scholarship winners are the first to be announced. 

David Colegrave Foundation chairman Jeff Colegrave said: "It is wonderful to have support for the Foundation from a major company within the horticultural industry. This financial commitment has enabled us to help even more students than we have ever been able to previously. Seven students have been awarded bursaries under this scheme and a total of £10,500 was shared amongst these students to help support them in their studies. Horticultural students are the future of our industry and it is so important that we do what we can to encourage them as they make their way into the industry."

Winners of the 2022 Blue Diamond Scholarships were: Anna Ciborowska and Edward Charlton, both studying at Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens; Katie Pardoe, studying at The Eden Project; Jessica Mears, studying at Sparsholt College: Victoria Adams, studying at Writtle University College; Thomas McDonald, studying at Pershore College and Ben Sayers, studying at Greenmount College.

They are using the money to fund equipment like laptops, to pay course fees or to travel to visit nurseries in the UK or abroad.

Anna Ciborowska:  studying for an HND in Horticulture with Plantsmanship at The Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh in conjunction with SRUC: "I knew I had made the right decision from the very first day and the two years since have been full of fascinating plant facts, amazing people and days outdoors
getting my hands dirty. After my studies I hope to work at a botanic or heritage garden - but who knows where the future will take me! As long as there are plants in it, I’ll be happy."
Katie Pardoe: studying for an HND and BSc Garden Landscape design qualifications at the Eden Project. With professional aims to educate and reframe the perception of beauty in gardens through ecological designs, she seeks to bring the biophilic benefits of nature into everyday spaces with sustainability, ecology and evolution in mind "I am delighted to have been awarded a scholarship by the David Colegrave Foundation, and I greatly appreciate the opportunities this will provide - both during my studies and in
the future."
Jessica Mears: studying for a Level 3 Advanced Extended Technical Diploma in Horticulture at Sparsholt College: "Receiving the Blue Diamond Scholarship from the David Colegrave Foundation has given me such
confidence and had opened up the possibility to pursue additional training that I know will help me in my future career. I hope to work in a plant nursery after I finish at college. Seeing plants grow is possibly one of the most joyful things I can think of. Through college we have visited so many nurseries and I have loved all of them. I am particularly interested in propagation and potentially plant breeding."
Victoria Adams: Studying for a BSc in Horticulture at Writtle University
Having worked in various horticultural placements including Allensmore Nurseries and Monkton Elm Garden Centre, she is now studying at Writtle. She has developed a particular interest in propagation and has identified that there is a shortage of skilled workforce within the sector. She hopes that the award of this bursary will enable her to visit relevant nurseries in the UK and possibly abroad to extend her knowledge in this field.
Thomas McDonald: Doing an apprenticeship at Pershore College training as a crop technician. After graduating from the University of Reading in 2019 with a degree in International studies, he realised his real passion was for horticulture. Having worked through the summer breaks with New Leaf Plants and he was fortunate to able to obtain employment with them after he graduated. Combining this work with a two year apprenticeship at Pershore Horticultural College he is now training to be a crop technician. He is delighted to have been awarded a scholarship from David Colegrave Foundation which will enable him purchase a new laptop: "My existing machine has seen me right through GCSE and A levels at school and my University degree, but is no longer fit for purpose. Having the money to buy a new laptop will really help me with my studies and make such a difference to me."
Ben Sayers: Studying for a foundation degree in Horticulture at Cafre Greenmount College in Northern Ireland
Having had an interest in growing form an early age, he has turned his passion into his career and is already running his own small commercial nursery whilst studying for a foundation degree in Horticulture: "Winning this award will help to ease the financial burden of paying for my degree. I am completely committed to developing a career in horticulture and am so grateful that this scholarship will help to support me in pursuing my ambitions."
Edward Charlton: studying for an HND in Horticulture with Plantsmanship at The Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, in his last year of a Horticulture and Plantsmanship degree at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow. He has been able to pursue his interest in the
cultivation of tropical and arid plants. His ultimate aim is to aid in the conservation of endangered plants through the development of knowledge of propagation techniques, such as tissue culture and seed germination: ‘The funding received from the David Colegrave Foundation will help with living costs during my last year of degree and also provide me with funds to continue optimising my tissue culture technique with various plant species. Thank you so much for supporting me in my horticultural career,
I feel honoured to receive support from the David Colegrave Foundation."

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