To celebrate National Gardening Week (30th April – 6th May 2018) we’re celebrating our Clink Gardens graduates’ amazing achievements. Here’s Georgia’s* story…

Georgia was sent to HMP Send after being charged with fraud in 2015. During her induction, she met Gary Gates, the Clink Gardens General Manager Trainer, who really impressed her so she applied to work in the Clink Gardens straight away.  It took approximately 12 months to complete her training towards an accredited City & Guild’s NVQ qualification in Horticulture. When Georgia joined the training scheme, it was still in its early set up stages and she was the first student to achieve the diploma.

Georgia then went on to take the TAQA assessors qualification so she could support the other women and ensure continuity of the training and development.

Thanks to the knowledge and experience at the Clink, Georgia also went on to do distance learning courses in Garden Design and Interior Landscaping and stayed on for a while to help the other new girls as an Education Assistant. When she left the prison, she was helped by the Clink Support Worker who accompanied her to her first probation appointment. The support worker also helped Georgia apply for two gardening positions in her local area, for which she was interviewed and accepted for both.

Georgia is now working at a garden centre advising both customers and other staff on plant knowledge and is due to be promoted to Plant Manager and Training Development Manager in the near future. She is very grateful for the support from the Clink.

*Georgia’s name has been changed.