Fourth time lucky for Exmouth in Bloom

PUBLISHED: 09:51 18 April 2019

Exmouth in Bloom volunteers. Picture: Gerry Bassett

Exmouth in Bloom volunteers. Picture: Gerry Bassett

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Exmouth in Bloom won the 2018 Exmouth Business Award for the best social enterprise of charity of the year

It was fourth time lucky for Exmouth in Bloom at the town's prestigious business awards.

After being shortlisted for three years, the charity which looks after the town's flower beds finally won the category for best social enterprise or charity of the year in 2018.

Speaking ahead of this year's awards – set to be held at Woodbury Park on Friday, May 17 – Gerry Bassett, chairman of Exmouth in Bloom, explained how the award has helped them in the last 11 months.

She said: “We were absolutely delighted to win especially as we had been shortlisted for the previous three years.

“We have worked consistently hard to be seen and noticed making a visible difference in the town, with year-round floral displays and new murals and have encouraged residents to take pride in their surroundings.

“We work with and support a number of groups in Exmouth including Clean Street Exmouth, Clean Beach Exmouth and Exmouth Art Group.”

Gerry also said the sponsor of the category, Raymond James, arranged for an advertising board to be put up in its Rolle Street window and this helped raise the charity's profile.

Exmouth in Bloom started as a voluntary organisation nearly 50 years ago and they first won a gold standard for South West in Bloom in 2002.

“Every year we have entered since then and, as the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) criteria for the standard is regularly updated, we constantly have to up our game to maintain this,” said Gerry.

“The three categories we are judged on are horticulture, environment and community. We have to tick the boxes in all these areas and show evidence to the South West in Bloom judges.”

So what advice has Gerry got for this year's shortlisted businesses?

Gerry said: “Be proactive and positive about telling and showing people what can be accomplished with team work.

“Focus on the changes you want to make or the projects you plan and see them through.

“Always show appreciation for everyone who volunteers and supports your cause.”

The shortlist for this year's awards is set to be announced on Friday (April 26).

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