Future Gardeners scheme funding secured

A House of Lords fundraising dinner and charity auction on behalf of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners in support of Future Gardeners has raised £30,000 to help the scheme run for a further two years.

The auctioneer was TV gardener and WCOG Liveryman David Domoney.

This money goes directly to the Future Gardeners programme, and with The Worshipful Company of Gardeners committing to fund half of the running costs of the project themselves, Future Gardeners has been secured for at least the next two years.

Future Gardeners is a new, innovative training and work experience scheme, giving participants the core skills to gain entry level jobs in the horticulture industry without having any previous experience or specialist education.

Bankside Open Spaces Trust teamed up with The Worshipful Company of Gardeners, Walworth Garden Farm and the Royal Parks Guild to deliver the programme, which will run for at least five years.

The scheme is open to all who want to try out a career in gardening. It does not require entrants to have minimum educational qualifications. As well as pre-apprenticeship training and a City & Guilds qualification, participants will have their career options enhanced by being introduced to employers in the sector. Almost all of the trainees go straight into employment or further training in the industry.

Master Gardener David Green said: "The Gardeners Company, together with BOST, The Royal Parks Guild and Walworth Garden are committed to this five year programme and we need the funds to be committed to make this all happen. The support, enthusiasm and generosity of both the auction prize donors and the bidders tonight – members of the Company and their friends - has been stupendous and overwhelming in their response and I cannot thank them enough."

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