Ella is crowned Rising Stars winner at GCA conference

Ella-May Bradshaw from Bosworths Garden Centre was recently revealed as the winner of the GCA’s Rising Stars programme sponsored by Westland Horticulture (January 2023).

The 21-year-old was declared the winner after her presentation during the GCA’s annual conference at the Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa in Blackburn, Lancashire.

Gordon Emslie, who mentored the candidates taking part in the programme, said: “After taking part in a series of workshops throughout the year on environmental and sustainability within gardening, all of the finalists presented their findings and what they’d learnt and put into practice in their own garden centres, during the GCA conference. All of the presentations were outstanding and any one of the candidates could have won. The conference attendees voted for Ella as their winner.

“I’d like to say a huge ‘congratulations’ to Ella and also to Matt Carr and Vicky Taylor from Barton Grange Garden Centre, Louise Oakes from Bents Garden & Home, Jennifer Ind from Webbs of Wychbold, Mia Crawford from Poundbury Gardens and Pip Bransfield-Garth from Ruxley Manor Garden Centre for all reaching the final and putting in so much hard work and dedication to the entire process.”

The GCA represents nearly 200 garden centres nationwide.

Ella-May said: “The programme was an amazing experience and I am so happy and excited that I was able to win and how my project idea came to life inspiring children in my garden centre. I can’t wait to do more of this work.”

Through sharing information and its inspection programme the GCA helps members to achieve high standards in customer service, plant quality and reliability.

Peter Burks, GCA chief executive, said: “These seven young horticulturists were the stars of our conference with seven amazing presentations, which everyone said they would be replicating in their own centres, it was very hard trying to decide who to vote for.”

For further information, please visit www.gca.org.uk.

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