Cash prizes up for grabs for green-fingered Wearsiders

Gardeners across Wearside could win cash prizes in a competition run by Gentoo.

Monday, 31st May 2021, 4:55 am

The housing association has launched its sixth annual gardening competition called “Ready, Set, Grow” to encourage their green fingered tenants, as well as community groups and schools, to share their green spaces.

With £200 cash prizes available for winning gardens, judges will be looking to recognise those who have pride in their home, neighbourhood and community.

This year the competition has categories. They are best overall garden and best community/school garden. For the first time the competition will be judged by other Gentoo tenants, alongside specialists from the group’s grounds maintenance department.

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Last year's Gentoo community garden winners at Ayton Gardens with their award.
Last year's Gentoo community garden winners at Ayton Gardens with their award.

The judges will be looking for outdoor spaces that improve the appearance of neighbourhoods and show the hard work that’s taken place across Sunderland’s gardens.

The contest is being run by Gentoo along with two of their contractors; utilities company Engie and construction firm Tolent. The Best Garden category is sponsored by Engie and open to all Gentoo tenants. Best Community/School Garden is sponsored by Tolent.

Last year’s Best Garden winners were husband and wife Christine and Derek Wilson from Hetton, while a group of residents in Ayton were given the Best Neighbourhood Garden award.

All community groups and schools in Sunderland are able to enter the best community/school garden category. Entries should be submitted before Friday, June 18 and judging will take place from June 28. The winners will be announced shortly after.

Susie Thompson, director of housing at Gentoo, said: “We know now more than ever just how important outdoor space is and through our annual gardening competition we want to reward those who have created beautiful outdoor spaces for people to enjoy.

“We welcome entries from people of all gardening abilities and I’m really looking forward to seeing the brilliant work that’s taken place in green spaces across the city.”

Amy Porter, social value manager at Engie, said: “We’ve always been blown away by the quality of the gardens in the competition, and I’m sure this year’s event will be no exception.”

Chris Price, regional director for Tolent, said: "We are delighted to be supporting the team at Gentoo with this competition.”

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