2117. Lizzie Walshaw
Lizzie Walshaw, from Swansea, has been helping to reduce social isolation and improve wellbeing for women in her community through her not-for-profit organisation, ‘Petallica Flower Farm’.
Since she began her training as a grower, Lizzie has always wanted to create a beautiful, welcoming space for people to come together and connect. In 2021 this led her to set up the ‘Women’s Shed’ – a community project aiming to do exactly that.
The project brings together women from the local community every Friday to learn about horticulture, connect with each other and gain the wellbeing benefits of being outdoors. Lizzie also runs Pick Your Own events and workshops throughout the year that are often held in collaboration with other local businesses to bring the community together.
Earlier this year, Lizzie also partnered with ‘Summit Good’, another local community organisation, to offer weekly volunteering sessions. These provide an opportunity for people to get involved in the flower and vegetable growing process, where activities include sowing seeds, planting crops or harvesting.
At ‘Petallica Flower Farm’, Lizzie and her team only use natural, sustainable methods to grow flowers. By doing so, they are aiming to help protect both the natural environment and boost local biodiversity. As a not-for-profit organisation, all profits made from selling flowers and running events are then reinvested into their community programmes.
In a personal letter to Lizzie, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“I was inspired to hear how you have used the farm to set up the fantastic Women’s Shed initiative to help people connect with one another and improve their wellbeing through gardening.
“By collaborating with other local businesses to run workshops and events throughout the year, you are bringing the community together, protecting the natural environment and teaching valuable horticulture skills.”
“I’m really touched to have received this award. Working with the community and bringing people together has always been something I’ve loved to do, so it’s really wonderful to see people benefiting from the projects we run.”
See more about ‘Petallica Flower Farm’