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Media Release

The Sarah Groves Foundation helps sow the seeds of education

The Sarah Groves Foundation helps sow the seeds of education

Friday 22 July 2022

The Sarah Groves Foundation helps sow the seeds of education

MEDIA RELEASE: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not Bailiwick Express, and the text is reproduced exactly as supplied to us

The Sarah Groves Foundation is proud to support the Guernsey Botanical Trust LBG by donating £50,000 to its exciting new Gatehouse and learning centre at the Victorian Walled Kitchen Garden in Saumarez Park. The donation is primarily being used to complete the learning centre where children and young people of all ages will have the opportunity to learn the art and craft of gardening.

The Guernsey Botanical Trust has been running horticultural educational sessions for many years, allowing the island’s primary schools to enjoy learning where some of their food originates from. It has also worked with the Guernsey Youth Commission and some of the secondary schools. However, with very outdated facilities, running the service has been challenging.

The idea of building a dedicated, modern learning centre was conceived in 2006 when the trustees considered establishing a space where an interest in gardening could be rooted in islanders from a young age. Sixteen years on, the project is finally a reality.

“This is a most generous donation from the Sarah Groves Foundation”, said Raymond Evison OBE, VMH, President of the Guernsey Botanical Trust. Raymond, also a Vice President of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) went on to say: “We are immensely grateful for the charity’s support in helping fund this project. We also want to thank the RHS educational team for the advice they have provided.

“We were especially pleased that Sue Biggs CBE, the former Director General of the RHS was able to visit the gardens in April this year. She was most impressed by the building and the learning centre’s potential.”

“Looking to the future, the Gatehouse will provide children with gardening opportunities to learn, create, plant and discover where their food comes from and how it is grown. I strongly believe that children are given the opportunity to get hands-on with plants to understand their lifecycle – from seed to shoot, to flower and fruit.”

Visitors will learn the background of the period flowers, fruits, and vegetables grown in the garden. A terrace will provide a space for children to enjoy being surrounded by nature, inspiring them to get outside and develop an enjoyment of gardening. A focus on young people is important for Vic Groves, Managing Trustee of the Sarah Groves Foundation, who said:

“Our mission is to fulfil Sarah’s ambition in life: to enhance young lives. The new Gatehouse will allow children to learn and develop their passion for horticulture. It will complement the wonderful Victorian Walled Kitchen Garden, which is such a tranquil place.

“The benefits of gardening for children are wide-ranging, from improving physical and mental well-being to building life skills such as confidence, teamwork and communication. Health and well-being were very important to Sarah, and she would be thrilled to see the new opportunities being created in this peaceful setting. The Gatehouse will leave a positive legacy for future generations to enjoy.”

Jayne Spicer, Director of the Guernsey Botanical Trust, said:

“The Gatehouse will be a focal point for horticulture in Guernsey, and we look forward to welcoming everyone later in the year. We want to thank all our supporters, particularly the Sarah Groves Foundation, without whom this community project would not have been possible.

“Without our volunteers, the garden would not and could not exist. With this new centre opening soon, we’re looking for more volunteers to help run the Gatehouse and gardens. There is a wide range of activities they can help with such as gardening tasks, running the shop, making local craft items, assisting at fundraising events, running guided tours, and helping with social media. Please get in touch if you want to get involved.”

Jayne can be contacted on 01481 722181 or

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