Floral Guernsey to become a Foundation

February 2015 - FLORAL Guernsey has become a Foundation as it expands its vision to focus on creating the floral Islands across the Bailiwick.  

“We have over 22 years of experience on our side and by becoming a foundation we believe that this will help us to develop one of our main objectives to increase the number of legacy projects we take on across all the islands, not just in Guernsey. Foundation status gives us a solid grounding and one that says we are here to stay”. Said Chairman, Pat Johnson.  

“With a greater sense of freedom that being part of a foundation brings, we will be able to take on a variety of new projects and approach sponsors and seek donations to help us with our cause. We want to leave behind a legacy that we can all be proud of for future generations to enjoy” he said. 

Six parishes in Guernsey and Herm Island have already been an active part of Floral Guernsey’s community competition with many winning gold at national level. Now the committee is planning to work closely with Sark and Alderney. Floral Guernsey is also providing funding for enhancement projects in Castel, Torteval and the newly formed Floral Bridge Group so that the whole Bailiwick is involved. As a starter all four islands have been given 1,000 daffodil bulbs which, have now been planted, in an area of their choice. 

Floral Guernsey has four primary objectives; its community competition which each year chooses a parish or island to represent Guernsey at the RHS Britain in Bloom regional final, its legacy initiative to enhance public areas, its education programme and festival weeks. The aim of the gardening themed festival weeks is to inspire and educate locals and visitors to become involved in gardening at all levels. 

‘The community competition has transformed the appearance of our island and volunteers dedicate thousands of hours to growing, planting, weeding and tidying the participating parishes all through the year. Last year St Peter Port won gold and best in category at the RHS national finals of Britain in Bloom,’ said Mr Johnson. 

He added that 2014 had also seen a huge achievement for the education programme with more than 1,700 children attending Magical Days in the Park. 

‘We liaise with all 22 primary schools in the island and support them with educating children about gardening, get them involved with seasonal competitions and encourage outdoor learning. Magical Days was so successful that we will be running it as a biennial event and I am delighted that Ravenscroft has committed to being a sponsor again in 2016 and that Waitrose is increasing it’s support. This support is invaluable in making it all happen.’ 

Charlie Roger, Ravenscroft chief executive officer, Channel Islands, said the enthusiasm of the volunteers had been a significant influencer in Ravenscroft’s decision to sponsor Floral Guernsey. 

‘Guernsey is exceptionally lucky to have so many people willing to give their time for the benefit of the community but the Floral Guernsey Council seem to take it a step further. They seem to have an unending supply of enthusiasm and a real commitment to literally getting their hands dirty as they enhance the Bailiwick’s natural beauty,’ he said 

Three Festival Weeks have been planned for 2015 with the Spring Festival Week running from 24th April until 2nd May, Guernsey in Bloom starting on 3rd July until 11th July and Autumn Festival Week taking place from 9th until 17th October. 

‘The Festival Weeks will be complemented this year by a series of open gardens with each one raising money for a local charity. Last year, open gardens organised and run by Floral Guernsey raised £10,000 and we hope to exceed that this year,’ said Mr Johnson. 

‘Next year, we’ll be looking to do a calendar of events throughout the year instead of focusing on three very busy weeks which we hope will see even more people involved.’ 

We are very lucky to have a strong team of councillors, each with a huge amount of experience and a wealth of knowledge to help us create our vision and to add support to the new foundation” said Mr Johnson.