BBC Gardeners’ World presenter and patron of The Garden Classroom, Joe Swift, has thanked the School Travel Awards for recognising the work of The Garden Classroom Team which was announced as the Education / Learning Team of the Year. 

Joe Swift

Joe Swift presents BBC Gardeners’ World Live and is a patron of The Garden Classroom charity. 

Organised by School Travel Organiser, the School Travel Awards shines a spotlight on the people, places, teachers and schools that create unforgettable school trips for pupils of all ages.

The 2020/21 ceremony was broadcast online on 20th May, hosted by Olympian Katharine Merry, during which the winners of 18 categories including the Education/Learning Team of the Year Award were announced. 

Based in Islington, The Garden Classroom charity provides urban children and adults with transformative outdoor experiences running workshops, camping residentials and countryside experiences. 

Joe Swift, a regular presenter and designer on the BBC’s Gardeners’ World and patron of the charity, said: “On behalf of the entire team at The Garden Classroom, we would like to thank the School Travel Awards for recognising our brilliant team and the transformational impact of our nature-connection work which truly enriches the lives of disadvantaged urban children.

“The Garden Classroom delivers significant improvements to people’s mental and physical health and wellbeing and empowers more people to respect and protect the natural environment.

“We want children to be happy and we know that by taking children out of the classroom and utilising their local green spaces we can transform, not just their learning, but their wellbeing.

“We do this all year round come rain or shine, connecting children to the seasons. It’s a testament to the team that schools consider The Garden Classroom deserving of the Education / Learning Team of the Year Award. Never has our work been more vital.”

The Garden Classroom

Source: Tom Oldman

The team was announced as the Education/Learning Team of the Year at the 2020/21 School Travel Awards ceremony on 20th May. 

“A special team”

Marnie Rose, founder of The Garden Classroom and director of new programmes, said: “This award is going to help us in so many different ways. It’s an accolade to shine a spotlight on a dedicated and very hard working team. The strength in The Garden Classroom is in the people who work for us. I know a lot of organisations will say that, but I do feel our team is very special and we, as a charity, are very lucky to have such great people around us.

“We’re hoping that the benefits of winning this award will be massive, not just in terms of fundraising but also increasing our profile and increasing our reach as well as communicating the core message across the sector that spending time on school visits in nature is crucial to health and wellbeing to connect, respect and protect the planet.”

“We will definitely use this award to help us ride the crest of the wave and to continue to flourish and grow.”

Marnie Rose founder of The Garden Classroom and director of new programmes.

Some of the people who nominated The Garden Classroom Team for the Education/Learning Team of the Year said that the charity “organised wonderful learning opportunities” and that the trip was something that some “pupils could only dream about doing”. 

Marnie added: “We can’t say thank School Travel Organiser readers enough for the nomination; we have been recognised against such tough competition. They all do amazing work too but this is absolutely our time for our work to be recognised formally and we’re hugely grateful to the School Travel Awards.”

“School Travel Organiser to us isn’t just a magazine, the team are ambassadors and champions for a really important mission. I think the message behind the publication is so important and The Garden Classroom certainly sees STO as the industry leader and hopefully it continues to grow and more people subscribe as school visits begin to take place.”

About the Education/Learning Team of the Year Award

It recognises a team of people big or small, whose collective inspiration has led to fantastic provision and great support, as well as excellent outcomes for school groups. Nominations are made by teachers, parents and pupils as well as from staff at school travel providers.

Find out who the other three finalists in the running were.

You can find out more about the School Travel Awards, including the individual awards, on our microsite here. And you can now watch the School Travel Awards ceremony highlights here.