Three customer services assistants from Haskins Garden Centres across the south have been announced as runners-up in Cultivation Street’s National Ambassador of the Year competition.
Sophie Menjou, a Cultivation Street Ambassador for Haskins in West End (Hampshire), Diane Mackintosh and Toni Middleton, Ambassadors for Haskins in Snowhill (Sussex), have each received a highly-commended recognition and been praised by Cultivation Street for the dedication and passion they have shown towards promoting horticulture in their local communities.
Cultivation Street is a campaign founded by David Domoney, celebrity TV Gardener and Broadcaster, to reward communities that are caring for their streets, as well as encouraging other communities to do the same. 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. The annual ambassador competition rewards those that go the extra mile for their local communities.
Sophie Menjou has been a Cultivation Street Ambassador for Haskins in West End for almost two years and focuses a lot of her time on providing gardening advice to local schools and community groups. Sophie also donates plants, seeds and compost to encourage children and the local community to get out in the garden and see what they can grow. Sophie explained: “This year so far, I have worked with Durley Nursery, Oasis Down to Earth Farm and Thornhill School to name a few. Oasis Farm entered a geranium competition which is voted for by the public and made it into the top 10.
“I am pleased that I have received highly commended for a second year, it’s nice to be acknowledged for the work you are doing to help the local schools and communities. When I visit the schools, I love to see how excited the children get about what they have been growing and telling me what they need to do to ensure their plants continue to grow.”
Toni Middleton and Diane Mackintosh have job-shared the duties of the ambassador role at the Haskins Snowhill Centre for the past six months. During this time they have helped regenerate St Piers School’s sensory garden and have supported the Quick Response Memorial Woodland charity by helping create a memorial garden for ex-servicemen and their families.
Toni commented: “Diane and I are both incredibly proud to be part of such an amazing team of people and we hope that we have been able to epitomise exactly what Cultivation Street is all about, bringing people together through the power of gardening.
“There is no particular school or community that we are most proud of, each individual project has been very gratifying, no matter how big or small, for very different reasons.”