Perth-based horticultural social enterprise project, Westbank Enterprises – run by employment, skills and learning charity, Shaw Trust, and Perth and Kinross Council – teamed up with volunteer charity, Beautiful Perth, to display a floral exhibition at Gardening Scotland 2014, winning a prestigious gold medal and the trophy for ‘Best New Floral Exhibitor’.
Based at the Westbank Plant Nursery on Jeanfield Road in Perth, Westbank Enterprises is a horticultural project that offers Perthshire jobseekers the opportunity to forge exciting careers and gain independence through six month employment placements. The project provides employment and training opportunities for people recovering from mental ill health and disabilities, as well as adults with learning difficulties who are currently supported by services provided by Perth & Kinross Council.
Westbank Enterprises displayed its award-winning floral exhibition Gardening Scotland 2014 – an annual national gardening and outdoor living show – which was held at The Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh; the theme of the display being ‘Perthshire welcomes the Ryder Cup’ ahead of the golf tournament being held in Perthshire this September.
The display was designed by New Zealand-based James Wheatley, who was commissioned by Perth & Kinross Council. Westbank Enterprises, which was officially launched on Friday 23 May, grew all the plants for the display, with staff and trainees employed at and supported by the horticultural project involved with the building and planting.
The stone wall was built by community service participants from the Perth & Kinross Council Community Payback order department; while the willow golfing sculptures were pieces commissioned by the Council to celebrate the upcoming Ryder Cup.
Perth & Kinross Provost, Liz Grant, says: “This is a fantastic result for the Westbank Enterprises partnership and is a fitting tribute to all the hard work put in by volunteers and staff bring to life the design created by Jon Wheatley Associates.
“Westbank Enterprises is Perth’s newest social enterprise and it is good to see that this partnership between Shaw Trust and Perth & Kinross Council is already a winning one. Hopefully this is the start of many more similar successes.”