Young people reported on the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower show for the first time, giving their unique take on the event
The young reporters, aged between 16 and 24, were part of the Surrey County Council Youth Collective and the National Citizen Services (NCS) programme, delivered by The Challenge. Alongside media teams from across the world, they tried out their media and communication skills to support their future careers and inspire people to get into gardening and growing.
An array of garden designers and charities were interviewed by the young volunteers. This exclusive experience enabled them to fully immerse themselves in horticulture and learn first-hand what it takes to create spectacular show gardens.
The young reporters explored three key themes: the environment, community and food and sustainability. By asking questions such as: ‘what are the threats to sustainability?' and ‘why should young people consider gardening?', the reporters hoped to inspire themselves and others with their stories.
Showcasing their skills
“Our young reporters showcased their skills behind the scenes at an RHS show for the first time,” Kate Orchard, the RHS Senior Community Outreach Advisor leading the project, said. “We can learn from their interest in the environment and in social action – they have highlighted plants, wildlife and pollinators as important for people, as well as real jobs and opportunities in horticulture.”
Martin Wilson, designer of the Brownfield Metamorphosis Garden, interviewed by the reporters said: “I have an undergraduate degree in geography and environment management with an MA in Spatial Planning – essentially geography in another form – so keep it up and perhaps you’ll have a career in town planning”.
RHS Ambassador, Adam Frost met the reporters when they interviewed the 2016 Green Plant It Challenge competition winners, Swanlea School. Adam said: "When I was young I was told I was a dreamer but now I am one of the leading garden designers and presenters in the UK, travelling worldwide." What is his advice to young people? “If you are going to have a dream, dream big”.
Achieving our renewable future
One of the young people described why they felt motivated to take part: “The RHS Hampton Court Palace Show isn’t about flowers for us, it’s a potent message that nature is our ally and we must accompany her to achieve our renewable future. It is imperative that we, as youth representatives, make tomorrow cleaner and greener.”
Follow the news
You can read all the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show news on Twitter with the hashtag #RHSHampton or individual posts at NCS, The Challenge, Surrey @ncsthechallenge and The Surrey Youth Collective @Surrey_YC