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Case Study

Guinevere: planting and growing her own future

Meet Guinevere Horroks. Guinevere is currently loving her voluntary role at Cornwall’s Eden Project. And she is on a mission to learn as much as she possibly can about plants and all aspects of gardening with the aim of finding a future job in the gardening world.

She’s recently started a Bronze Arts Award in Garden Design and is finding continual inspiration from her learnings about professional gardeners such as George Fergusson Wilson, who founded the Wisley Gardens and built a horticulture school, with the idea of ‘making difficult plants grow successfully.’

A year ago Guinevere studied in Healthcare at college but knew that a job in that area wasn’t going to make her happy. So, she started applying for other jobs. In fact, she applied for 259 jobs. And she didn’t get any of them. And that was tough. Really tough!

Guinevere says, “I was applying for retail jobs, factory jobs, care work – but I didn’t really want to do those roles. I thought I had to keep trying. Initially, I was interested in Art so when I discovered Game Changer, my Real Ideas Navigator took me to some art galleries to see how that works behind the scenes. But that wasn’t quite right and what was brilliant was that my Navigator didn’t give up on me like other people have done in the past. They brought me to the Eden Project and when I started working outside in the gardens, which was something I had never done before, it made me really happy.”

Guinevere continues, “Now, with their support, I’m studying famous gardeners for my Arts Award in Garden Design and you learn that it’s not complete success all the way through. You go through trial and error in a garden, just as you do in a career. You find out by trial and error how to get up the right jobs, and then work towards the top jobs. It gives me inspiration to think that I can be following in their footsteps, starting in small garden jobs, but with the right attitude and ambition, I can become just like them.”

Guinevere has already realised the pleasure that her garden design and tending work can bring, creating a new garden at home for her disabled mother. “Just being able to put what I know into place in our own little garden is making me, and my mum, so happy,” she says. “It’s wonderful to have this happening in my life and I’m enjoying everything that’s coming with all the learning.”

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