The Jim Green Challenge, hosted by the South of England Showground, saw more than 100 students with special needs put their practical, creative and technical skills to the test.
Now in its 19th year, the competition held in memory of a former Chairman and founding Council Member of the South of England Agricultural Society, Jim Green, aims to encourage teamwork and build confidence.
Ten teams of students took part in the competition, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of The South of England Agricultural Society, with tasks including making golden scarecrow sculptures; making model farms, delicious brownies and woodland mobiles; and planting spring flower beds and window boxes.
The overall winner was Aldingbourne Country Centre from Chichester.
Other winners included the Woodlands Meed Chestnut team from Burgess Hill for the ‘Identification’ category, where students were asked to identify items based on smell, touch and visual identification, and for the best window box; Woodlands Meed Willow team for their model depicting fields; Hadlow College Inventors team from Tonbridge in Kent for their flower bed and golden scarecrow model; Manor Green College from Crawley for their woodland sculpture; The Nescot Beta team from Epsom in Surrey for making the best chocolate brownies as well as a woodland mobile; and Young Epilepsy, a charity from Lingfield in Surrey who were the winners of the best arrangement of spring bulbs category.
All the students who took part were presented with certificates by one of the event sponsors, Michael Harris of the Masonics Charities. Dignitaries from across the county attended the day, including the Deputy Lieutenants from East Sussex, the High Sherriffs of East and West Sussex as well as Chairs from West Sussex County Council and Mid Sussex District Council.
Sarah Peay, one of the key organisers, said: “Many here today know what a special year in the life it is for The South of England Agricultural Society. One of the key areas of the society is education - for young people to learn all aspects of country life. Jim Green was one of the founder members of the society and this competition fits in so well with his ideas on education; today was evidence that his vision is as strong as ever and everyone’s great work reflects the society’s aims of the past, present and future.”
Sarah also thanked sponsors Sussex Masonic Charities who this year celebrate their 300th year and who generously doubled their sponsorship of the event, Mrs. Carole Hayward, Mr. Kevin Booth who could not be there on the day but whose personal support is vital to the Jim Green Challenge, The Golden Lion Children’s Trust, The Camelia Botnar Foundation who kindly donated the plants, as well as the many volunteers for their contribution to a very successful day.
Many of the items made by the students will be on display at the forthcoming 50th Anniversary South of England Show on June 8, 9, and 10.
For more information, visit www.seas.org.uk.
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