RHS School Gardening Champion of the Year 2015


Peter Edwards
Volunteer at The Rosary Catholic Primary School in Heston, Middlesex
Winner of RHS School Gardening Champion of the Year

About Peter

Peter is an 82 year old volunteer who consistently gives up his own time, arriving at 9am and leaving at 3:30pm every day, to lead the school’s gardening club. He had the idea to start the club three years ago after losing his late wife and the club has gone from strength to strength. He is tirelessly patient with the children and frequently arrives at school with resources for the club which he has bought with his own money. Many of the school’s pupils do not own gardens and have little opportunity to grow and learn. Peter takes great delight in giving them these opportunities, teaching life cycles of plants, which seeds are best to plant when, and the importance of sustainable methods of gardening.

Peter’s work has helped transform the appearance of the school and playground with beautiful tubs the gardening club tend to and care for. He also spent many hours designing and planting commemoration garden with the pupils, in memory of those who have lost their lives in war and pupils who have passed away. Peter proposed an opening ceremony on 11 November 2014 and invited members of the armed forces and parents of the pupils for whom the garden was built. Peter is an inspiration to the children and they adore him, hanging off his every word. He has a wonderful ability to weave other subjects such as history and science into the garden, telling stories to the pupils while they work.

Judges’ comments

“Peter is an absolute inspiration, giving up his time to pass on his wealth of knowledge to the younger generations. He is proof of the difference just one volunteer can make in a school and a great ambassador for volunteers across the UK.”

“A really touching story of somebody with great ‘life knowledge’ and a love of gardening giving vast amounts of time to the younger generation, exposing them to knowledge and experience they’d otherwise miss.”

“Peter's story was one that was incredibly touching. Volunteers around the world contribute so much, but here is a man who gives five days a week of his time, and asks nothing in return. But the knowledge, both of horticulture and a host of other subjects that he passes on to the pupils he spends his time with has evidently inspired and encouraged them to grow. He is giving so much more than time; he gives passion, knowledge, encouragement and a love and respect for nature. A wonderful man.”

Peter's entry video

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See the profiles of our other finalists:

Ann Huggans
Martin Billett
Natalie Sacre

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