Students blossom as they help keep Norwich blooming

Students with learning difficulties at City College Norwich show the Lord mayor Brenda Arthur and sh

Students with learning difficulties at City College Norwich show the Lord mayor Brenda Arthur and sheriff Beryl Blower around their greenhouses. Student Kieran Wray.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Meet the students that keep the city blooming.

Growing thousands of plants and colourful flowers every year, Norwich's landscape would be starkly different without them.

Teenagers enrolled in the Horticultural Enterprise at Norwich City College help to grow and care for 40,000 plants every year.

The bright array of blooms, including geraniums, petunias and marigolds, are then planted in popular sites across the city.

The project aims to teach people with learning difficulties skills that will help them to get jobs.


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Yesterday the proud class gave Brenda Arthur, the Lord Mayor of Norwich, the city's Sheriff Beryl Blower and members of the Friends of Norwich in Bloom a tour of their greenhouses at the college, in Ipswich Road.

Mrs Arthur, who is Lord Mayor for just 10 more days, said she was glad she was able to see their work before her term of office ended.

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'I think it's really remarkable to know this facility works with Norwich in Bloom. It's so impressive, but what is more impressive is the students are learning life skills that will potentially lead to work. They are gaining confidence and making friendships, it is great for them to see the magnificent floral displays that they have been responsible for.'

Some of the students that are involved in the course go on to be employed by Norse or Barford Hire.

Alex Hardingham, 19, hopes to work at Norse. 'I would like to be a groundskeeper,' he said.

'We get the seeds and then we look after them, we water them, I like knowing the names of different plants.'

John Attoe leads the course, which has an all-male class this year.

He said: 'It has been very successful. We have had lots of people go into different jobs and we do flower beds across the city. Our students get work placements at nurseries and can do everything from potting to planting and growing. They take their parents to see some of the work they do.'

City College Norwich will be holding a plant sale to help fund the Horticultural Enterprise project.

On Friday, May 20, there will be a range of flowers on offer from 10am until 2pm.

If you have a news story, email jemma.walker@archant.co.uk

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