Ed is the horticultural apprentice at KentCOG
I’ve always enjoyed working outside, using my hands, and being surrounded by nature. I began my Horticulture apprenticeship with Kent Enterprise Trust on 3rd December 2018, with a view to developing skills that I might need for the future, and to support the Trust in its mission to help people get back into work. Working with the Trust has also given me the opportunity to begin an RHS Level 2 Horticulture Course at Hadlow College, which would be very beneficial for my future plans to become self-employed. I believe that gardening and being in a space that is non-threatening is also extremely helpful in improving people’s self-esteem, as new skills are constantly being taught and shared.
Although the environment can be informal, the projects that we are working on are structured and planned so that we ensure that the garden is always moving towards its full potential. I personally feel a huge sense of satisfaction when it comes to help building structures such as the new polytunnel at the Community Oasis Garden site and sourcing the materials for such tasks.
It is also important that we share ideas with other community gardens, and this is a skill that the Trust is helping me to develop. I appreciate the fact that I am able to attend other gardens and network with like-minded people, and advance my current working knowledge. A key word that I consider relevant for the Trust is ‘collaboration’, and this is something that is important for its future as a sustainable space, which is important for the people’s general wellbeing and self-development.