Nantwich Flower Festival

Nantwich Flower Festival

Nantwich Flower Festival

Reaseheath Floristry students got involved in British Flowers Week this week, producing designs for the Quinquennial Flower Festival being held at St Mary’s Church, Nantwich.

Level 3 Diploma students, Shiona Fosh, Jackie Tudor and Abbey Rowley and Level 2 Diploma student Miriam Lewendon, went to the Nantwich church to design displays for the Nantwich Flower Festival. Held for four days from Thursday 16th June to Sunday 19th June, the festival’s theme is ‘The Glory of Nantwich’.

More than 40 floral displays will feature many aspects of Nantwich life, both past and present. Our students completed designs for the altar area.

If you’d like to see their designs for yourselves entry is just £3 and free for children.

Covent garden flower market

RHS Chelsea

Photo credit @shaneconnollyandco

Photo credit @shaneconnollyandco

It all began with a blog from Rona Wheeldon congratulating Shane Connolly on his invitation to produce a floral arch at the Chelsea Flower Show to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday.  In this blog, Shane commented on how students of floristry would be assisting with this project. On reading this, we emailed @Shane Connolly & Co to offer our services, we were already competing in the College of the Year competition and to represent Reaseheath Floristry on a second occasion at the prestigious event would be fantastic. We received an email accepting our offer of help and so the journey began.

On Friday 20th May, 2 lecturers, Fiona Davies, Helen Cooke and 4 students, Clare Street, Lee Law, Sophie Garratt and Abi Rowley travelled to Covent Garden flower market and helped condition the beautiful British flowers and foliage that were arriving throughout the day.

On Saturday 21st May, Fiona and Helen worked through the night with a team of volunteer florists and the incredible professional and caring team from Shane Connolly installing the floral arch. Watching this structure grow from a scaffold frame to a stunning arch way bedecked with fabulous British foliage, plants and flowers was incredible, a floral journey we will never forget.

The arch way was a gift to the Queen, all time and materials used were offered on a voluntary basis, a true gift of beauty and opportunity.


standardisation day CROP

Setting the standards for Floristry training

standardisation day CROP

Hugh Baird College’s Floristry team hosted industry professionals, training providers and florists from across the country for a Floristry Standardisation Day.

The aim of the day was to get as many employers, professional florists and training providers as possible to maintain high standards in all of the qualifications delivered.  Working in collaboration ensures that the training provided helps our students develop the skills, knowledge and experience employers need in their future staff.

Members of Reaseheath’s floristry team joined other delegates (including employers, international designers, a BFA representative and a leading wholesale manager) for the day jam packed with latest updates on industry best practice. The morning session involved representatives sharing news and updates from both the British Florist Association and Country Baskets Wholesalers.

delegates to industry standardisation day

The event also included updates from Kate Whelan who was representing the British Florist Association and the Institute of Professional Florists. The afternoon session looked at current and upcoming qualifications and an internal quality assurance exercise, enabling delegates to compare their own assessment methods and levels with those of other providers, as well as against examining guidelines.

The finale of the day was a demonstration by International designer Julie Pearson who inspired the team with her innovative and creative work.

Robyn Longden

Robyn prepares for competition on a world stage

Talented Level 3 Floristry student Robyn Longden has been long listed for the WorldSkills UK squad 2017. WorldSkills is a global, Olympics style competition which showcases the skills and value of young professionals in vocational industries.

Robyn’s talent was spotted during a strong performance in the WorldSkills UK national finals last November.  Potential team members from a wide range of backgrounds, from aeronautical engineering to jewellery making, are now on a programme of training. Those finally selected for Team UK will contest the next WorldSkills finals in Abu Dhabi in 2017.

Reaseheath College's Assistant Principal  Jo Maher leads training activities with WorldSkills UK long squad

Reaseheath College’s Assistant Principal Jo Maher leads training activities with WorldSkills UK long squad

We hope that Robyn will follow in the footsteps of former Reaseheath horticulture student Matt Beesley, who, with fellow team member Jonathan Gill from Northern Ireland, won Team UK’s first ever medal in landscape gardening at the WorldSkills final in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2015.

Robyn’s training began with a motivational training camp attended by 160 talented young people from across the country. Three Reaseheath staff members, including Assistant Principal Jo Maher, played key roles in the camp by delivering interactive psychology sessions.

Robyn Longden

Robyn Longden

Jo Maher has been supporting Team UK as their Performance Psychologist since WorldSkills Leipzig in 2013 and travelled with Team UK to Brazil last summer.

Here we join Robyn on her journey….

Our training weekend started off with a presentation telling us about what to expect and congratulating us on making it through to the UK squad.

On Saturday we had to carry out a number of teamwork activities including climbing through a spider’s web made out of string, testing our reactions and even playing darts while sitting down.

Sunday began with Zumba at 6.30 am. During the day we got to know our mentors and found out more about the training we will be receiving.

This weekend was all about making new friends and getting to know the people in the squad and also meeting the people that will be supporting us along the way in our bid to compete against the rest of the world in Abu Dhabi.