8 June 2017
Disadvantaged young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) have worked with landscape architects Guy Taylor Associates and the Inspire and Achieve Foundation (IAF) to design and build a show garden for the first RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, which runs from 7-11 June.
Young people helped design and produce a walled garden that represents a deprived and neglected exterior with a beacon peering over the top to inspire the viewer to look beyond what they first see. Within the walls, the plants represent the individuals’ bright and vibrant personality that is wanting to burst out from within the confines of their current life. One corner of the wall is broken down to show that the walls that stand in the way of a better future aren’t fixed and that possibilities of a better future are visible, reflected by the view to the distant horizon. The garden illustrates the metaphoric phrase ‘never judge a book by its cover’.
The artwork on display within the walls of the garden and the graffiti on the exterior are all the young people’s own creations. They have been mentored and taught skills by the Guy Taylor Associates team during the development of the project; all of which has helped increase their levels of confidence and motivation and can be added at work experience to their CVs. Their Inspire and Achieve Foundation youth workers have also supported them on an ongoing basis through the development.
Pippa Carter, director of the foundation, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for IAF to highlight the difficulties that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds face and the amazing things that they can achieve with the right support and encouragement.
“The decline of local industries has hit some parts of the Midlands hard and, in some cases, families have been out of work for generations. This can lead to low aspiration, low self-esteem, poor skills and often issues like poverty, teenage pregnancy, crime and addiction.
“We look beyond the immediate difficulties faced by these young people and work directly with them to create positive futures. This project alone is a great example of what young people are capable of achieving with the right help”.
Donations of material and time have enabled this innovative project to happen – special thanks go to Brightwake, Ibstock Bricks, Markowitz Builders Merchants, Hortus Loci, Phil Swindell, Ron Brooks, Students from Leeds University and Andy Clayden from Sheffield University.
People can donate to the Inspire and Achieve Foundation via IAF’s website or Just Giving page or they can text 70070 and type IAAF00 plus their donation amount.
About Guy Taylor Associates
Founded in 1969, Guy Taylor Associates is an award-winning, innovative and forward-thinking design studio, focussed on architecture and landscape, with offices in Newark, Manchester, Derby and Sheffield.
Its portfolio of projects stretches over 40 years including residential, office, education, leisure, heritage and conservation projects.
The collaboration of architects, architectural technologists, restoration and conservation experts, and landscape architects bring together vast experience and a highly-skilled team of passionate designers to provide a body of knowledge and expertise that embraces every aspect of a building’s design, construction, performance and preservation.