Newground has taken centre stage at the Chelsea Flower Show for the first time and scooped the coveted Gold Award within the ‘Fresh Garden’ category.
Teaming up with John Everiss Design, they have created a sculptural and emotive masterpiece called ‘Reachout’ depicting the difficult journey many young people face in the town and how their lives can be changed with the right guidance and support.
The award-winning garden was a bold statement at the show and fuses planting and creative design with real-life storytelling.
A striking metal sculpture of a crouched figure leaning against a slate stone wall reflects one young person at the beginning of their journey with all the potential wrong choices laid out before them. Their hand dips into a nine-metre long water-channel leading them through life’s hurdles and navigating the temptation seen in a series of stone columns which gradually become smaller and smoother before finally blending with the planting. At the end, there is an air of tranquillity and aromatic herbs of thyme and rosemary depict the goal as the young person’s journey into society and adulthood is complete.
Steve Close, Together Housing Group Chief Executive, said: “To say this is an incredible achievement is an understatement. For a social landlord to exhibit in the first place was a bold move, but to win a gold medal is simply amazing.
“But the piece conveys an important message about the services we actually provide to our communities. We offer many work opportunities and apprenticeships to people who weren’t suited to the traditional education system.
“We think our apprenticeships are among the best in the country and we’ve been able to transform lives thanks to the work we do with young people.”
“Many congratulations to everyone involved in this project.”