MAPPING OUT A NEW CAREER IN GARDEN DESIGN

For Immediate Release Long term career dreams are beginning to bear fruit for Jasmine Bellinger, who left the financial services industry to concentrate on a new Wiltshire landscape business and has just been named Lantra's Women and Work Horticulture, Landscaping and Sports Turf Joint Winner of the Year. Since 2006, the Women and Work programme has worked with over 1212 companies in England to support 3,250 women develop their skills and progress their careers in industries where women are under-represented. To celebrate the end of the 2010/2011 training programme, the nine top learners were recognised at the second annual Lantra Women and Work Awards, sponsored by VectorWorks Training, at Nailcote Hall, Warwickshire, on 30 March 2011. “Thanks to the Women and Work grant I have taken another step towards realising my own business in garden design,” says 38-year-old Jasmine. She has benefitted from the scheme, which enabled her to get training in the latest Vectorworks computer software for landscape design. The training means Jasmine can be a lot more organised and efficient when it comes to drawing up garden plans and keeping data where she needs it. “As a mother of two young children, one aged two-and-a-half and the other six months I need to be doubly efficient. Knowing my way around this computer software will really help me produce better visual images for clients and contractors,” she said. For Jasmine, the grant and training are an invaluable step towards setting up her business, which trades under the name Soul Garden Design. “Being self-employed means training can often be a low priority and costly so I was very pleased to find out about Lantra’s Women and Work scheme.” Jasmine has already set an office up in Salisbury. It’s a far cry from her previous 16 year career working first for a bank and then a pensions company based in Edinburgh. “When I was considering my options as a school leaver I was really drawn towards Sparsholt College but at an open day felt too shy to talk to the tutors about a creative outdoor career. “I went into banking and moved to Scotland with my husband. It was years later when we went to a friend’s wedding back near Salisbury that I came across a Sparsholt prospectus and felt inspired to follow my initial hopes of a more creative career. We moved back to Salisbury, giving up my job and went back to the drawing board, studying at Sparsholt for a degree in garden design.” As well as gaining first class honours Jasmine had also become a mum to Oscar. “I had to slow my plans for setting up a business down because Oscar came along followed by Iola. However, I am in a much better position now to combine being a mum with working for myself in a career I really do enjoy. All I need now is to begin to promote the business and get some good projects under my belt.” Lyndsay Bird, Lantra Women and Work Programme Manager said, “Jasmine has always been drawn towards a career in garden design, and I am glad that the Women and Work programme helped her realise these dreams. She is a great example of how training can develop professional skills and lead the way to great career opportunities. That is exactly what this programme is designed to achieve, and I have every confidence that Jasmine will progress her skills further, helping build her career and business.” The Lantra Women and Work funding programme will commence in June 2011 (subject to contract). For more information and to register your interest visit www.lantra.co.uk/Women-and-Work. Follow Lantra on twitter at www.twitter.com/LantraSSC. ENDS ISSUED BY Lantra Press Office Samuel Zelmer-Jackson, PR Co-ordinator Tel: 02476 858 418 or email media@lantra.co.uk Follow Lantra on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LantraSSC CREDIT FOR PHOTO Jasmine Bellinger – Lantra’s Women and Work Horticulture, Landscaping and Sports Turf Joint Award Winner 2010/11 NOTES TO EDITOR About Women and Work • The Women and Work: Sector Pathways Initiative is about raising skills and unlocking potential. The project aims to raise recruitment levels in sectors where women are under-represented; increasing earning potential and aiding career progression. The initiative is in response to recommendations by the Women and Work Commission’s report ‘Shaping a Fairer Future’ and receives government funding, matched by employer contributions. • Women and Work funding is available to those working in agriculture, aquaculture, environmental conservation, farriery, fencing, fisheries management, game and wildlife, horticulture, landscaping and sports turf, production horticulture, land-based engineering and trees and timber. • For more information: www.lantra.co.uk/womenandwork/ About Lantra • Lantra is the Sector Skills Council for land-based and environmental industries, working to ensure these businesses access the training, qualifications, skills and knowledge they need. • Lantra represents 17 industries: agricultural livestock and crops; animal care; animal technology; aquaculture; environmental conservation; equine; farriery; fencing; fisheries management; floristry; game and wildlife management; land-based engineering; horticulture, landscaping and sports turf; production horticulture; trees and timber and veterinary activities. • By working together with the sector, Lantra leads research on skills issues and business needs, sets national standards and develops qualifications to meet modern business needs and help businesses grow through skills. • For more information see www.lantra.co.uk.

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