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Young students display included in major flower show

Young people educated through Derbyshire County Council’s Virtual School programme are putting the finishing touches to a display they’ve created for a major flower show.

The feature will be included in the Royal Horticultural Society Chatsworth Flower Show, which runs from June 6 to 10.

It has been created by Virtual School students from across the county, aged between 15 and 21, with the help of their Virtual School creative mentors and tutors from the council’s Adult Community Education Service at the Derbyshire Eco-Centre, near Wirksworth.

Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Young People Councillor Alex Dale said: “The RHS Flower Show at Chatsworth is one of Derbyshire’s most important visitor events and it’s fantastic that the work of our Virtual School students will be on display there this year.

“The Virtual School aims to enhance life opportunities for children and young people in care, but this whole project has very much been driven by the students themselves and they have been rewarded by the chance to take part in such a prestigious flower show.”

Using the 2018 show’s theme of ‘Grow’, the students based the design on their own experience and memories of working together at the Eco Centre, showing how shared experiences and relationships based on trust help everyone involved to grow and flourish.

The small garden display will be featured in the Education section of the show.

Kim Johnson, arts education consultant for the Virtual School, said: “We have a very strong relationship with Chatsworth and the work of our students has already featured in the grounds of the House last year.

“This wonderful opportunity is the realisation of their own collective ambition to put a display together for the RHS Show, and we’re very grateful for the help we’ve received from the Education team at Chatsworth, the Adult Education Service tutors and the Eco-Centre to make it happen.”

As well as showcasing their talents to the thousands of visitors to the show, the project will also help students towards obtaining horticultural and arts qualifications.