Top class Thomas and Faith dig for victory

Young gardeners at a children’s centre in Cleethorpes have scooped the top award at two regional gardening competitions.

Around 20 children who are part of the Little Growers gardening club at Reynolds Children Centre, Machray Place, have been rewarded for getting their hands dirty in the garden this summer by being awarded gold in both Cleethorpes In Bloom and East Midlands In Bloom.

Little Growers scooped the top award in the Best School Garden category, whilst six-year-old Faith and four-year-old Thomas Rice, won Cleethorpes In Bloom’s Best Young Gardeners award.

The impressive haul of three regional gardening awards is thanks to the children’s tireless work, growing a range of fruit and vegetables including potatoes, sweetcorn, tomatoes, herbs and squash.

Caroline Cadman, family hub adviser for the Reynolds Children Centre, says she hopes the young gardeners will take their new understanding of healthy eating back to their family home.

She said: “We always try to promote healthy eating, whatever we do as a group. The children have been doing the gardening with their parents as well so hopefully the families can take the knowledge and awareness home with them.

“The whole project has been a huge learning curve for the children and it’s really important that they get hands on eating healthy and the significance of home-grown food. We’ve been encouraging them to get involved and a bit dirty and the children have really enjoyed it.

“But to get recognition for having fun is great as well. I was so surprised that we got gold, especially in East Midlands In Bloom, it’s a huge achievement for the children.

Cleethorpes In Bloom’s vice- chairman Jeff Blanchard and chairman Bob Callison were on hand to present the hat-trick of awards to the Little Growers. Bob said that the green-fingered youngsters have started gardening “at the right time”.

He said: “It’s always best to get started nice and early, that’s when I first started so I know what it’s like. It’s marvellous.

“It’s great to see kids getting hands on and stuck in. They’ve done such a good job and they’ve done really well to win two gold awards. That isn’t easy.”

Faith, 6, who is one half of the Best Young Gardeners duo, added that she has learnt to “like the taste” of fruit and vegetables.

She said: “I really like growing because it’s good fun. I like the taste of lots of fruit and vegetables now, especially strawberries. We take them home and our parents like what we’ve been growing.”

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