• Debi Holland

Inspiring the Future

I was delighted to be asked by RHS Education to join the ‘RHS Inspires’ Education and Employers charity programme 'Inspiring the Future' as an ambassador for the Royal Horticultural Society.

My first assignment was to present a careers talk to the whole of Year 10 at Digitech Studio School, Bristol. I described my path into horticulture and how I have changed careers through the years but all experiences have proved to be extremely useful and a good basis for the next chapter.

After studying art and design at Hastings and Bristol respectively, I specialised in documentary making. I also taught scuba diving in my 20's and worked for an underwater, undercover and mini cam film company working on over 80 television and film productions ranging from pop promos to adverts, TV dramas to films. After a stint in the construction industry and the French Alps, I worked at the University of Bath for 10 years with students from grass roots to Olympic and Paralympic athletes as the Website Manger for the Sports Department TeamBath, working with coaches and athletes throughout Athens, Beijing and London 2012 games. After freelancing as a lino print artist I found myself lost without a job for a couple of years until I finally retrained with an RHS Level 2 Diploma in the Principles and Practices of Horticulture and discovered one of the most rewarding, fulfilling roles I have ever had - being my own boss, starting up my own gardening maintenance and design business alongside writing and photographing plants for national and local magazines, websites and private clients.

My talk detailed all the qualifications, courses and jobs I have taken from school to now. I explained how these skills and experiences were all relevant and transferable, whatever the future held! Everything can be used as a stepping stone to the next adventure. Be flexible and adapt to whatever life throws at you. Be a sponge - keep learning!

Covid times have been particularly difficult and many teenagers face challenging decisions as to which direction to go in. Inspiring the Future hopes to motivate young people and illustrate the diversity of roles and courses available. Hopefully broadening horizons and giving a little insight into the working world.

Honoured to be a part of this programme to help young people and hopefully inspire!

Photo © Sawyer Holland 2021