Haskins Garden Centre employee partners with local schools through Cultivation Street Ambassador scheme

Sophie Lyall, assistant team leader for customer services at Haskins Garden Centre in West End, has partnered with local schools in Hampshire to help their development through the positive power of plants.


The West End garden centre has donated gardening products to four local schools as part of Sophie’s role as a Cultivation Street Ambassador. Haskins is currently working with:

  • Beechwood Junior School – a variety of seeds has been donated for the children to develop their interest in gardening, including x125 packets of mixed flower seeds, x9 packets of thyme, x15 packets of cress, x9 packets of rosemary, x6 packets of tarragon, x2 packets of lemon balm, x4 packets of mint and x8 packets of coriander
  • Bitterne Primary School – helping the school plan for the refresh and repainting of their Play Shed and developing the surrounding garden
  • Thornhill Primary School – a variety of seeds, bulbs and gardening gloves has been donated for the children to enjoy during their lunchtime gardening group
  • Durley Ladybirds Nursery – beginners’ seed packs have been donated to encourage enjoyment of hands-on gardening from a young age

Cultivation Street is a campaign founded by David Domoney, celebrity TV gardener and broadcaster, which focuses on encouraging communities and schools to get involved with gardening projects. The campaign was specifically introduced to celebrate community gardens and their ability to bring people together, using nature to inspire, heal and connect the communities they are a part of.

Each year there is a Cultivation Street Ambassador competition, to reward those that have gone the extra mile for their local communities. Sophie Lyall, based at Haskins in West End, has been an ambassador since February 2018 and was announced as a runner-up in the competition last year.

Sophie’s role as a Cultivation Street Ambassador is to co-ordinate the provision of compost, plants, bulbs, gloves, seeds and bird food to local schools. Sophie commented: “I thoroughly enjoy working with a range of local schools to help increase children’s interest in gardening from a young age and help schools develop their resources for green-fingered children.

“I’m passionate about teaching children what I know about gardening because they’re the next generation of gardeners. It’s great seeing how excited they get over a plant they have grown and it’s great to get children interested in being outdoors and enjoying nature, rather than sat in front of a computer screen. This is something Haskins is really keen on encouraging – getting children interested in gardening from a young age, which is evident from our Garden Gang campaign.”

As part of Sophie’s role, over the course of 2019, Sophie will continue to visit Beechwood Junior School, Bitterne Primary School, Thornhill Primary School and Durley Ladybirds Nursery, to join in with gardening activities, as well as endeavor to strike up new partnerships with neighbouring schools.

Sophie Lyall is Haskins’ designated Cultivation Street Ambassador for the West End centre, serving as a dedicated point of contact to support local community groups and schools with a garden. To contact Sophie, visit Haskins in West End’s Customer Services department.