The David Colegrave Foundation (DCF) has awarded six students £8,000 worth of Sponsored Scholarships from Wyevale Garden Centres, South West Growers Show, British Protected Ornamentals Association/Peter Seabrook, Floranova and Ball Colegrave.

The horticultural charity is pleased to be supporting:

  • Wyevale Garden Centres, £1,500: Claire Brassington, Pershore College
  • South West Growers Show (SWGS) £1,500: Alastair Arnold, Writtle College
  • The Peter Seabrook Bursary/ British Protected Ornamentals Association (BPOA)£500 each: Stephen Massam, Myerscough College and Nathan Johnson, Myerscough College
  • Floranova £1,500: Opal Rowe, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC)
  • Ball Colegrave £2,500: Danny Booth, Myerscough College

Wyevale Garden Centres Sponsored Scholarship winner Claire Brassington, 31, from Much Wenlock, Shropshire, is currently studying for a diploma in Garden Design at Pershore (Warwickshire) College in Worcestershire, following a diploma in Horticulture. Claire has seven years experience in working in garden centres and the retail environment, and has won several garden display awards.

Pippa Hawkins, Training Manager at Wyevale Garden Centres, says, “We are thrilled to support Claire with her continued development in Garden Design, and hope she enjoys the challenge of the programme”.

SWGS Sponsored Scholarship winner Alastair Arnold, 32, from Warwick, Warwickshire, is currently studying for a MSc. Horticulture Crop Production at Writtle College in Essex, following a BSc Horticulture. Alastair aims to work in commercial horticulture as a grower or production manager, and has won awards for Best Commercial Student and the Gardeners Company Prize. Kirsty Lane, South West Growers Show, says, “It really was a tough decision as all of the candidates put forward were of an excellent standard and all deserving of the scholarship. However, after much deliberation and careful consideration, we selected Alistair Arnold. We feel he is committed, of a high calibre and will help fill the skills gap in commercial production horticulture.”

The Peter Seabrook / BPOA Bursary winners Stephen Massam, 29, from Southport, Lancashire, and Nathan Johnson, 21 from Tarleton, Lancashire are both currently studying at Myerscough College in Lancashire and have a strong interest in commercial horticulture. Stephen is completing a NVQ level 3 in Production Horticulture as well as a degree level qualification ‘Master of Horticulture’ with the RHS, while also working as a grower at Lovania Nurseries. Nathan is completing an NVQ level 2 Diploma in Horticulture while also working as an apprentice grower at Lovania Nurseries.

Peter Seabrook, Scholarship Sponsor and DCF Trustee says, “It is really encouraging for us to see such a good number of applicants for this award with many worthy of our support, to the point we have had to share the award this year”.
Simon Davenport, Chairman of the BPOA, commented, “We are very pleased to see again a high level of participation by young people and apprentices working in nursery production companies. The winners will definitely benefit in their years ahead in this business from the opportunity with financial support and personal mentoring that this award can give them.”

Floranova Sponsored Scholarship winner Opal Rowe, 31, from Glasgow, Scotland, is currently studying for a BSc Horticulture at SRUC in Edinburgh. Opal works voluntarily at Glasgow Botanic Gardens and is looking to work in the field of research. She would particularly like to breed a new variety of ornamental plant.

Mark Leivers, the Production Director at Floranova says, “Opal Rowe is clearly passionate about plants. She has made a significant commitment to developing her knowledge and skills”.

Ball Colegrave Sponsored Scholarship winner Danny Booth, 23, from Southport, Lancashire, is currently studying for an NVQ in Production Horticulture at Myerscough College in Lancashire, and is also a Grower manager at Lovania Nurseries. Danny plans to visit nurseries, including plug and seed suppliers that specialise in production techniques to learn more about best practice and quality control.

Stuart Lowen, Marketing Manager at Ball Colegrave says, “It’s great to see a young person in a progressive nursery business apply for this bursary”.

The DCF Scholarship Season which runs from Sep to Jan is now closed, reopening in Sep 2015. This latest season has seen a total £14,000 awarded to twelve students representing seven UK colleges. In total, applications were received from 20 colleges across the UK.