Sue Biggs CBE, the Director General of the Royal Horticultural Society, visited GROW yesterday to meet and greet individuals involved with the charity as they work towards the redevelopment of their Coutanchez site.
Renowned horticulturalist Raymond Evison, OBE, hosted her day trip to Guernsey which included a visit to GROW as well as seeing the clematis nursery and the Victorian walled garden.
Ms Biggs was “ashamed to say” this was her first trip to the island, but had always wanted to see Mr Evison’s clematis nursery.
“Raymond also encouraged me to see two projects… including the work of Grow,” she said. “It is inspirational and moving to see what is being done for people with disabilities."
Ms Biggs said that the charities' work with the learning disabled over the past three decades is “testament to the benefit of working with plants and nature”.
She added that the labelling of GROW members as ‘Crew’ was a “masterstroke,” with Marguerite Talmage, a Director at GROW, arguing that it makes the team feel more like a family.
Pictured: Marguerite Talmage (centre-right) showing the development plans to Sue Biggs (far-right).
Mr Evison said he was thrilled to show Ms Biggs around the Clematis nursery, showcasing everything from breeding and development to propagation and production.
Ms Biggs has previously provided an endorsement for GROW when their redevelopment project journey for their Coutanchez site began.
Express reported on the progress of the redevelopment project in February, with the charity currently seeking the final third of fundraising required before an anticipated opening date in spring 2023.
Ms Biggs said the facilities at the new site, including the café and retail training units, would help to teach individuals who may prefer “catering or hospitality” to horticulture.
“It is now recognised that such activity can help alleviate social isolation and anxiety and help build self-confidence and esteem. GROW’s plans for the future will extend these benefits, as well as make a vital contribution to the community as a whole,” she said.
“The RHS also congratulations GROW on its Environmental Policy."
Pictured: Detailed plans of the future GROW headquarters.
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