David Domoney encourages Cultivation Street Ambassadors Scheme

National community gardening campaign Cultivation Street is bringing together garden centres and community gardening projects under a new scheme.

This spring the Cultivation Street campaign, now in its fourth year, is expanding to take the lead in building a national network of mentors to support community gardening. It will unite garden centres and communities to work together on community and school gardening projects.

The Garden Centre Ambassador Scheme is designed to nurture stronger and more supportive relationships that benefit communities and garden centres. It was borne out of a round table discussion hosted by campaign founder David Domoney including leading garden centre representatives, community leaders and schools.

It found that garden centres can receive dozens of requests from communities every week. There is currently no formal application process to help garden centres judge how to help local communities and schools. And often garden centres do not receive feedback from communities, preventing them from evaluating how effective their support has been.

The new Garden Centre Ambassador Scheme aims to change this status quo. Under the scheme, each participating garden centre will nominate a member of staff to be their community Ambassador. This Ambassador will be the point of contact between the garden centre and communities. They will build a dialogue with community members and foster a mutually beneficial relationship.

The Scheme aims to streamline community outreach efforts from garden centres and steer them towards strong and active gardening projects. It also seeks to improve relationships between garden centres and their local communities, as well as to support community and school gardening projects. It is run in association with the HTA and National Garden Gift Vouchers.

Campaign founder David Domoney said: ?So many garden centres we speak to want to offer more help and support to local community and school gardening projects. And members of those projects want to ask garden centres for help and advice, but they feel intimidated because many have never gardened before.?

?We wanted to create a simple and effective way for garden centres and communities to join forces to drive community gardening efforts. The Ambassador scheme will support and educate this bond and bring the two sides closer together.?

Carol Paris, chief executive of the Horticultural Trades Association, said: ?It’s amazing how much support we have received from garden retailers over the last three years with Cultivation Street. Creating ambassadors seems the next natural step where we can inspire more new gardeners and bring people together through community gardening.?

The Cultivation Street Ambassador Scheme will launch along with the campaign?s fourth year activities in March 2016. Garden centres should register their interest in joining the Ambassador Scheme at http://www.daviddomoney.com/cultivation-street/gcambassador/

Alternatively, garden centres can contact the Cultivation Street Hotline on 01926 641997 or email cultivationstreet@domoney.tv.

They will receive a free Ambassador Pack in the spring, plus regular resources and support as needed from the Cultivation Street campaign team.

For more information please contact cultivationstreet@domoney.tv or phone 01926 641997.

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