Leading homelessness charity St Mungo’s in Partnership with Cityscapes has scooped a Silver Medal for its innovative Putting Down Roots Garden at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Winning in the Show Garden category, the garden showcases St Mungo’s horticultural training programme that supports people with experience of homelessness to develop their confidence, learn new skills and rebuild their lives through gardening.
The garden was designed by landscape design studio Cityscapes and generously funded by Project Giving Back at no cost to St Mungo’s, and highlights the powerful impact that gardening can have on people’s recovery from homelessness.
Rebecca Sycamore, St Mungo’s Interim Chief Executive, said: “Our clients, staff and volunteers already feel like they’ve won just by being here at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, so to be awarded this medal is the icing on the cake.
“To be able to showcase the amazing achievements of our Putting Down Roots programme on a world stage has been fantastic.
“And we must thank the skill and creativity of the Cityscapes team for our wonderful vibrant garden design, and Project Giving Back for giving us the opportunity to be at the Show in the first place. It has certainly proved a hit with, the visitors judges and even royalty!”
It follows a difficult few weeks for St Mungo’s as following the tragic and unexpected death of its former CEO Steve Douglas CBE.
“I know Steve would be so proud of all we’ve achieved,” Ms Sycamore said.
Matt Woodruff, St Mungo’s Horticultural Skills Manager, who runs the charity’s Putting Down Roots programme, said: “Our clients are over the moon. They have learned so much and developed such confidence from being involved – and this award only adds to this.
“We look forward to the garden continuing to be a place of learning and respite for our clients, staff and the public when it is relocated to its new homes – one at Guy’s Hospital and one at London Bridge City.”
Designed by Cityscapes, the garden is made from recycled materials. The space creates a safe and immersive experience for users through enclosed planters, textural foliage and floral accents of colour, while a pavilion and seating area provide opportunities for reflection and respite from the pressures of city life.
Garden designer, Darryl Moore, Cityscapes Director and co-founder, said: “It is such an honour to be recognised among such talented designers, gardeners and horticulturalists. And we are pleased to have been awarded a Silver Medal.
“It is testament to the hard work of all who have been involved in getting this garden to the show – especially St Mungo’s inspiring clients, as the garden embodies the amazing steps they have taken to rebuild their lives.
“We are so proud of everything we have achieved here at Chelsea.”
The accolade follows a 10 year partnership between St Mungo’s and Cityscapes, who have worked together to design a series of ‘pocket parks’ and horticultural projects around London which are maintained by people from Putting Down Roots.
The St Mungo’s Putting Down Roots programme has been running for 21 years and has gardens in London, Bristol and Leicester.
The award-winning initiative is entirely voluntarily funded, and provides vocational horticultural training to support people as they recover from homelessness and develop vital skills for employment.
During the last few years, the project has developed a number of successful ‘training gardens’, creating opportunities for people experiencing homelessness to undertake accredited qualifications and improve their wellbeing.
Find out more about the St Mungo’s Putting Down Roots Garden at www.mungos.org/chelsea/