Great Portland Estates - investing in Future Gardeners
On 21 March 2019 we welcomed Great Portland Estates plc (GPE) and Cllr Kieron Williams, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Skills and Innovation at Southwark Council, and our latest Future Gardener graduates to Red Cross Garden for a very special celebration.
GPE, the London based property investment and development company, have recently donated to our Future Gardeners scheme, funding our next class of horticultural trainees.
Launched in 2016, Future Gardeners is our innovative training and work experience scheme that gives participants core skills to gain entry level jobs in the horticulture industry without having any previous experience or specialist education. Future Gardeners is entirely funded by donations and is free – giving opportunities to the long term unemployed and those who have struggled to access education.
James Shipton from GPE said: “When we first heard about the Future Gardeners programme we were eager to get involved. As a property manager we know that there is a shortfall in the industry of qualified gardeners. I met some of the Future Gardeners today and was impressed by their enthusiasm and dedication. We hope that this is just the start of a long term relationship with BOST and the Future Gardeners programme”
Tim Wood, our Chair of Trustees, added, “When we started Future Gardeners three years ago we had no idea how big it would become, with over 76% of graduates receiving offers of employment as a result of the programme. The majority of the funding comes from the Worshipful Company of Gardeners and BOST supporters, with most of the training and materials given free of charge by amazing people in the gardening community. Great Portland Estates have supported BOST in the past, helping out with The Great Get Together , however this donation is a massive help that will ensure the next class of gardeners will graduate with full qualifications.”