10th June 2021 - Flipbook - Page 36
JULY 22 2021
On course to furth
n Daria with Domino at CAFRE, Enniskillen campus.
be able to
n Sarah Beatty, a Horticulture Foundation Degree graduate, Greenmount campus, and a
volunteer at Antrim Castle Gardens.
Helping Friends of
Antrim Castle Gardens
progress to next level
Y name is Sarah Beatty. I grew up in
the North-East of England and worked
as an Art Therapist until 2014, when
I moved to Northern Ireland to be with my
I have always loved growing things. However,
I had never considered Horticulture to be a
After moving to Antrim, I struggled to ﬁnd
a volunteer opportunity that I enjoyed, but I
then came upon the “Friends of Antrim Castle
Gardens” and fell in love with the place and
Situated in the heart of Antrim town, the
area maintained by volunteers is a courtyard
garden comprising of ornamental beds, raised
vegetable beds, a greenhouse and polytunnel.
After being part of the group for a year, I met
some horticulture students from Greenmount
and decided that the part-time Foundation
Degree would be perfect route for enhancing
my horticulture knowledge.
With a good balance of applied and academic
learning, it gave me all of the tools I would
need to help the group progress to the next
In 2016 I took on the role of chairperson with
the intention of using this experience as my
course work placement. I really enjoyed the
challenge of taking on a leadership role and it
married together my newly-gained horticulture
knowledge with my previous experience of
working with non-proﬁt organisations.
I have now worked with my fellow volunteers
over the past ﬁve years to the beneﬁt of the
volunteers, garden and the whole community.
In 2021 all our hard work was recognised
when we received the Queen’s Award for
Volunteer Service. This is the highest award a
group can receive and is deemed equivalent
to an MBE.
I believe this award recognises the
importance of therapeutic community horticulture and in my view would not have been
possible without the knowledge and skills I
gained at CAFRE.
Going forwards, the group will now
concentrate on adding more Irish cultivars
and heritage plant stock to the ornamental
beds and improving ﬁnancial sustainability by
registering the group as a limited company.
n Greenmount campus of the College of
Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise
(CAFRE) is responsible for the delivery of
Horticulture and Floristry programmes
to both new entrants and those already
working in the industry.
The campus offers Horticulture courses at
both Level 2, Level 3 and Foundation Degree
on a full and part time basis.
n Food Technology Degree Graduate Roberta McMaster is a Lab Assistant at Beechwood