It serves all people from any background in local communities, to empower them to get involved with gardening, improve their life, well-being and help them to become economically active.
Jon’s ambition is to make gardening and horticultural activities accessible to anyone, including those with disabilities, mental health problems, learning difficulties and the unemployed.
He has set up a training and activity facility at local plant nursery, Oakdene, in Chester Road, Streetly, currently run by his father.
Jon has been working now in horticultural training and lecturing for the past seven year’s, and he’s been teaching with some of the Queen’s walled gardens, where prisoners have been benefitting from his accredited gardening courses.
He’s received national recognition for his work within prisons by City and Guilds, being presented with a medal of High Commendation, followed by a prize in April 2013 by HRH Princess Anne at Buckingham Palace from the Worshipful Company of Gardeners.
An especially proud moment was being invited for lunch with the Queen at the Houses of Parliament on her Jubilee.
He said: “All these accolades planted a seed in my mind that I wanted to share my knowledge and love of gardening with others.
I’m really excited about this project – I’m passionate about every aspect of horticulture and even more enthusiastic about developing skills and training for as many different people as possible.
“I want them to come to the nursery and benefit from the great facilities and projects available at Roots to Fruit.”
There are sessions that are designed to help raise self-esteem, provide general exercise and teach a range of gardening skills.
Leisure courses will soon be available on a weekend programme for those who want to learn how to design their gardens, grow plants and maintain them.
Gary Marks – Staff Reporter, Birmingham Mail