SL Employability Horticulture Students have recently started an exciting project with Firstsite Gallery, Colchester (winners of the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2021).
The students are now working as volunteers to maintain the Café garden. They have made a great start by clearing away the weeds and dead plants and planting a variety of bulbs to create a display for the gallery’s visitors next Spring. This month they will be planting a selection of flowers to brighten up the garden for the winter. Next year they will also be growing lots of herbs and salads for the Café kitchen to use.
As volunteers they are learning lots of useful Employability Skills including teamwork, following instructions, Health and Safety, communication and planning. Specifically, they are learning horticulturist skills such as using tools, seasonal planting, container planting, different methods of propagation and the care and maintenance of plants. All of which will support their Horticulture qualification and they can add to their CVs.
Firstsite curator Emma Howe has ensured that our visits are enjoyable and interesting; providing us with refreshments, all our equipment and resources and answering the students questions about the Gallery’s installations.
The students have said about the project:
“I am looking forward to it.”
“It would be great to grow things for the cafe to use.”
“It will give me good work experience.”
“[Firstsite is] stunning and interesting.”
Firstsite Curator Emma Howe added:
“We are absolutely delighted to be working with Jo, Pravina, Tristan and the learners from ACL Colchester. I’ve been very impressed with their ideas and enthusiasm and am really looking forward to seeing the fruits of their labour sprouting in the new year.”