More than 70 students with special educational needs from colleges across Sussex and Kent visited the South of England Showground to put the skills they have learned to the test at the annual Jim Green Memorial Competition.
Now in its 16th year, the competition held in memory of a former Chairman and founding Member of the South of England Agricultural Society, Jim Green, aims to encourage teamwork and build confidence.
It offers students an opportunity to compete in a range of creative and technical challenges in a location away from their familiar college campus.
The event included both prepared and on-the-day tasks such as making a scarecrow, growing spring bulbs, removing old plant material and preparing a spring flower bed, identifying a range of woodland and hedgerow trees and plants, making a sculpture, creating a collage depicting an allotment, making a wind chime using hand tools and baking a Bara Brith (a traditional tea bread).
Six teams of students took part in the competition, all demonstrating great enthusiasm and dedication. But it was Plumpton College who raised the most points and won three out of the nine categories to return home victorious with the coveted first prize.
Sarah Peay, daughter of Jim Green and one of the key organisers, said: “This motivating, interactive competition is a great example of the Society’s charitable and educational aims.”
Des Lambert, Principal at victorious Plumpton College, said: “It’s a fantastic day! We have entered the competition every year since it started, as we know how much the students benefit from the experience.
“We only have a team of six here today but there are many other students back at the college who have been involved in the planning and making of certain items. I am so proud of all the students in coping with the challenge and excitement of having to perform under pressure on the day – it’s a tremendous team effort!”
Many of the items made by the students will be on display at the forthcoming South of England Show from June 5-7.