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RHS partners up with Inspiring the Future

The RHS has joined forces with Inspiring the Future to help encourage children in schools and colleges to pursue a carer in horticulture.

Inspiring the Future enables schools to connect with inspirational volunteers from the world of work quickly and easily, in school or virtually, revolutionising the way in which young people get insights into exciting and unique careers, and inspiring them to be ambitious.

Chris Moncrieff, head of horticultural relations at the RHS, said: “The idea of this partnership was born out of a Desert Island Discs episode. Sue Biggs was on the show about a year ago, and the CEO of education and employers charity, Nick Chambers, listened to Sue talking about careers and horticulture, and said he’d like to do something with us”.

Everyone from plant propagators, arborists, plant pathologists and environmental scientists are being asked to register as volunteers and participate in opportunities at local schools providing career advice through activities. These will range from virtual and in-person advisory, to career fairs, CV workshops, and support aimed at inspiring young people to choose a career in horticulture.

The programme asks volunteers to pledge just one hour of volunteering a year, and they can be placed anywhere from primary and secondary schools, to colleges.

Chris explained: “Currently, we have a target of attracting 200 volunteers working in the industry from around the UK, and so far, those who have signed up have been really impressed and pleased with the programme. He continued, “everything is arranged well in advance, and the training is provided by Inspiring the Future.”

Chris believes an exciting part of the new partnership is that “we should finally be able to start doing what we’ve always struggled to achieve as an industry, which is getting the industry seen and heard in classrooms.”

“At the moment, there isn’t anywhere young people can get a vision of what working in horticulture means. But now with this opportunity, we can hopefully start to bring something alive and into the classroom, after all, it only takes one to encourage and fire the imagination. That is the power of this organisation.”

The activities involved in the volunteering programme aim to inspire, and have has been designed by teachers. At secondary school, activities will focus more on the specifics of job roles, career pathways including subject choices and skills required. At primary school, the activities involved will be more explorative.

Chris said activities and career talks involved will also aim to “break down stereotypes” as they try to encourage  diversity and inclusivity.

“This opportunity is quick to sign up to, easy and comfortable for people, and is a real opportunity for people to help make that change.”

To find out more, watch a short video about how it works here.

For the application form, click here.

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