Over 90 students with special educational needs from colleges across Sussex, Surrey and Kent put their practical, creative and technical skills to the test at the Jim Green Memorial Competition hosted by the South of England Showground yesterday [March 9].

Now in its 18th 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.

Eight teams of students took part in the competition, which celebrated this year’s South of England Agricultural Society theme, ‘Year of Sheep’, with tasks including making sheep sculptures with mainly recycled materials, making model farms with sheep, creating shepherd scarecrows, making insect habitats, planting spring flower beds and window boxes and baking bread.

Plumpton College (Rurals) Team, from East Sussex, raised the most points overall and went home with the coveted first prize, The Jim Green Memorial Trophy, presented by Mrs Ann Green and Mr Peter Green.  The team won four of the competition categories, while Woodlands Meed (Chestnut) Team, from Burgess Hill in West Sussex, won three categories and Hadlow College (Creators) Team, from Tonbridge in Kent, won the other two categories (details below).

All the students who took part were presented with certificates by two of the event sponsors, Mr Michael Harris of the Masonics Charities and Mr Kevin Booth. Dignitaries from across the county attended the day, including the Deputy Lieutenants from East and West Sussex, the Mayor of Brighton and Hove and Chairs from East and West County Councils and Mid Sussex District Council.

Sarah Peay, daughter of Jim Green and one of the key organisers, said: “We were so impressed with the enthusiasm and skills demonstrated by the students today and the dedication of their amazing staff from the colleges. This competition is a great example of the South of England Agricultural Society’s charitable and educational aims and offers the students a chance to compete in a location away from their familiar college campus.”

Sarah also thanked sponsors Sussex Masonic Charities, Mrs Carole Hayward, Mr Kevin Booth, The Golden Lion Children’s Trust and Camelia Botnar Foundation as well as the many volunteers for their contribution to a very successful day.

Michael Harris from the Sussex Masonic Charities said, “My wife and I spent a wonderful day watching these inspiring students carrying out their practical tasks, showing us the models, pots of bulbs and bread rolls they had made at College.  We are delighted to be one of the sponsors of this event and will continue our support for next year.”

Many of the items made by the students will be on display at the forthcoming South of England Show on 9, 10 and 11 June 2016.

More competition information:

 The colleges taking part in the 2016 Jim Green Memorial competition at the South of England Showground in Ardingly included:

 Aldingbourne Country Centre in Chichester (West Sussex); Hadlow College in Tonbridge (Kent); Manor Green College in Crawley (West Sussex); Plumpton College near Lewes (East Sussex); Woodlands Meed in Burgess Hill (West Sussex);

 Overall Winners:  Plumpton College

 Category winners:

Identification –  Plumpton College – Rurals

Window Box – Woodlands Meed – Chestnut

Flower Bed –  Hadlow College – Creators

Shepherd Scarecrow –  Plumpton College – Rurals

Make a sheep sculpture – Plumpton College – Rurals

Model depicting Farm – Plumpton College – Rurals

Bread item – Woodlands Meed – Willow

Spring bulbs –  Woodlands Meed – Chestnut

Habitat Home – Hadlow College – Inventors

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