Members of the Garden Centre Association (GCA) are being urged to put forward their staff for the GCA Trust's Dick Allen Scholarship Award Scheme (February 2023).
The scheme is open to staff within GCA garden centres, and the recipient of the award will be invited to attend the International GCA Congress later in the year in Italy.
Peter Burks, GCA Chief Executive, says: "This is a shout-out to all of our members who have young staff on their teams who might benefit from taking part in the scheme."
"Applications are currently open, and from those submitted, two will be chosen to attend this year's International GCA Congress, which takes place in Italy. They will not only travel to the destination but will participate in the 'Interactive Tour' group, take part in discussions and gain an understanding of how garden centres within the host country, and centres from other countries, including their own, through the wider conversations within the delegate group, operate."
"Applications can be made online via our website at https://bit.ly/3kl79hI and must be endorsed and supported by the applicant's employer. The GCA Trust will cover the full Congress registration fee, but travel expenses will need to be met by the employer. Other than personal expenses and travel insurance, there are no further costs involved."
Last year (2022), Laura Matheson from St Peters Garden Centre and Holly Byrne from Millbrook Garden Centre Gravesend were chosen and visited garden centres in Amsterdam across six days.
Will Armitage, GCA Trust Chairman, said: "This is an amazing opportunity for any aspiring members of garden centre teams to see how garden centres operate in Italy while furthering their personal development with an opportunity to network with other garden centre operators from all over the world in a more informal environment."
"Speaking from personal experience, the successful applicants will have the opportunity to forge lasting professional relationships with like-minded people from all over the world and make some great friends."
The object of the GCA Trust is to advance among the general public and, in particular among horticultural students, education in horticulture, and particularly garden centres, by the provision and administration of scholarships and bursaries, including prizes to foster such education.
The Trust also aims to assist horticultural students in studying, researching, and gaining experience in horticulture.
The GCA represents garden centres nationwide.
Through sharing information and its inspection program, the GCA helps members to achieve high standards in customer service, plant quality, and reliability.