After being awarded a Gold medal for his Show Garden at this year's Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show, sponsored by M&G Investments, Adam Frost is to become an RHS Ambassador. As part of his new role, Adam will help the influential gardening charity in its bid to encourage more secondary schools to embrace gardening, as well as to help raise the profile of horticultural careers.
Adam, a father of four, is now the winner of four consecutive Gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and is hugely passionate about getting the next generation gardening. A team of young people from the Homebase Garden Academy helped with the build of his garden and he shares the charity's ambition to bring horticulture to the lives of all young people for the many benefits it brings, and to inspire pupils to think about the horticultural industry when considering their careers.
Adam said: "It's a real honour to accept such an important role and one that I feel so strongly about. I believe all children should be given the opportunity to garden at school, and the RHS does a great job through its Campaign for School Gardening - to which more than two thirds of all UK schools have signed up. A big aim of the RHS, and of mine, is to get more secondary schools involved.
"I've been really inspired by what this year's Homebase students have achieved - especially putting all of the skills they've learnt into practice by helping to build the Homebase Show Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
"They are so passionate about what they do, so we need to change perceptions of gardening as a career and promote it to all youngsters when they're planning their future careers."
Research carried out last year* revealed that more than 80% of secondary school teachers said they hadn't received any information about careers in the industry. Today, as part of the industry-wide Horticulture Matters campaign**, Adam hosted a breakfast at RHS Chelsea Flower Show attended by 100 budding horticulturists and secondary-school students to promote the breadth of career opportunities in horticulture.
RHS Head of Education and Learning Sarah Cathcart, said: "We're so pleased that Adam will help us raise the profile of school gardening. At the moment a big focus of ours is to get more secondary schools interested in growing because gardening just isn't important to younger pupils. Currently only 37% of senior schools have signed up to the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and we hope having Adam on board will help us reach out to more."
Adam's appointment comes after the charity announced earlier this week that Mary Berry is its RHS Ambassador for Grow Your Own and in November that Alan Titchmarsh is its first Founder RHS Ambassador. Earlier this year, James Wong was revealed as the RHS Ambassador with a special focus on horticultural science, and Nick Knowles was announced as RHS Ambassador for community gardening.
The RHS Chelsea Appeal 2014 at this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show is raising funds to help the charity engage with more secondary schools. The RHS is also raising funds to create more horticultural apprentice positions over the next five years at its four gardens: RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey, RHS Garden Harlow Carr in North Yorkshire, RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Essex and RHS Garden Rosemoor in Devon.