Core Arts’ Hackney-based mental health charity to stage its first ever show garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022

PRESS RELEASE from 27.1.22

Leading Hackney mental health charity, Core Arts, will be represented at the world-famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show for the first time in May 2022. The Core Arts Front Garden Revolution Garden has been designed by Hackney-based garden designer Andy Smith-Williams, and is one of 12 gardens for good causes being funding by Project Giving Back at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this spring.

Andy first noticed Core Arts’ imaginative roof garden on one of his regular walks during lockdown and was intrigued with the idea of making relaxing gardens in busy urban places incorporating recycled and up-cycled materials. The roof garden is managed by Core Arts’ horticultural arm, Core Landscapes, and Andy’s design includes some of the ways their roof garden captures and diverts rainfall as well as creative ways of container growing using resilient planting.

Speaking about his design and partnership with Core Arts, Andy says:

Having easy access to local parks, the Hackney Marshes and nature-filled walks during the Covid-19 lockdowns really helped me keep physically and mentally fit during that period. I noticed how front gardens were being used more to meet and greet friends and neighbours, and became aware of the work of Core Arts, and Core Landscapes, in our community.”

Andy’s design will highlight the connections between gardens and mental wellbeing while showcasing some innovative and creative ways to make front gardens environmentally sustainable. It is an imaginative take on a pair of front gardens that focus on the power of plants to lift spirits. It reflects Core Arts’ mission to break down barriers to enable recovery, social inclusion, and positive mental health, supporting people experiencing mental health issues to develop skills and talents, fulfil their potential, and connect with their communities.

Andy continues:

Creating community-facing front gardens, that are desirable places to be in, can be the catalyst for creating important connections. I’m delighted to be bringing a garden inspired by Core Arts to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May and hope it will help raise much-needed awareness and funds for a charity that plays such an important role in Hackney.”

Hattie Ghaui, Director of Project Giving Back says:

Andy’s creative and thought-provoking garden celebrates the work of Core Arts and the way we can bring plants into an urban environment. We’re thrilled to be supporting this garden and cause at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2022 and have no doubt that it will inspire individuals and community-focused organisations across the UK to adopt similar approaches. […] Project Giving Back was set up in direct response to the pressure charitable organisations, like Core Arts, have been placed under following the outbreak of Covid-19. One of the great things that we can take from these incredibly challenging years is the hope that comes from seeing the kindness and community spirit that neighbours across the UK have shown, and continue to show, each other.”

Nemone Mercer, Core Landscapes manager says:

It’s fantastic Core Arts is being represented at Chelsea this year. It’s a celebration of all the time, energy, and skill that Core students and volunteers’ have given to making the local neighbourhood in Hackney a nicer, greener place for everyone, and to inspire other people to do the same. It’s a brilliant stage to show the impact plants and green spaces can have on our positive mental health, particularly when we garden together.”

Having a garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show marks an important milestone for Core Arts, Paul Monks CEO of Core Arts says:

“Core Arts trustees, staff, volunteers, and above all our clients, are delighted to have been selected for this opportunity to showcase our charity at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, giving a global platform to promoting positive mental health for all and showcasing how creative education can have a big impact on mental health.”

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