Surrey Choices day service Fernleigh Activity Centre, Walton-on-Thames, are celebrating after being awarded a four out of five flowers certification for their Community Allotment, at the RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival 2019, by judge and top Chef, Raymond Blanc.
A group of disabled adults supported by employees from the centre were able to bring their ideas to life after being successfully shortlisted to showcase their themed garden design ‘Fernleigh Recyclable Inspirational Garden Haven Project’ as part of the first ever RHS Community Allotment Competition.
Their allotment, which was created by recycling and upcycling materials, such as filling wellington boots and watering cans with a range of beautiful flowers and produce, had thousands of visitors throughout the week of the RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival. They were highly commended for their creativity, hard work and commitment by visitors, including by Frances Tophill, a horticulturalist and television presenter from ‘Love Your Garden’ with Alan Titchmarsh.
Jerry Ratcliff, Chief Operating Officer for Surrey Choices commented
“We are grateful to RHS for shortlisting Fernleigh’s entry and giving us the opportunity to showcase the talents and creativity of the people we support, who were involved in every step of this creation from designing to planting. We could not have imagined how successful and inspiring the allotment would be to thousands of visitors. We even had one visitor who had relatives with a learning disability being in tears over how impressive they found it.
We hope that this will inspire other keen horticulturalists with disabilities to pursue their interests. As for the Fernleigh team, they have found a new home for their allotment back at their centre for everyone to enjoy. The many herbs, fruits and vegetables are being used in a range of sessions such as cooking, offering a sustainable source of home-grown produce.”
Horticulture is part of a programme of learning and development activities offered by Surrey Choices for disabled and Autistic people. If you would like to find out more about the opportunities at Surrey Choices call 01483 806806 or click here.