Eve Bennett-Townsend presenting posy to HRH The Princess Royal with Principal Suzanne Duncan

Floristry Students Short-listed For National Final

Two talented floristry students, who train at East Durham College’s Houghall Campus in Durham, have recently been short-listed for the finals of a national floral competition.Hannah O’Connelley

Eve Bennett-Townsend (pictured above), 39, from Billingham, and Hannah O’Connelley (pictured right), 19, from Thornley near Durham, have made the short-list of four in the Level 2 and the Level 3 categories respectively of the Smithers Oasis® Floral Products 2017 College Competition.

The competition was open to all level 2 and level 3 floristry students in the UK, and Eve and Hannah will now go head-to-head with students from Tynemet College (North Shields), Bridgewater & Taunton College (Somerset) and Reaseheath College (Cheshire) in the finals.

The first round challenge was to create a floral funeral tribute using a Naylorbase 10” wreath ring. Students had to sketch their design and annotate with flower and foliage by the genus, species and variety; they had to cost it for retail value and submit three photographs of their finished design using a profile view, bird’s eye view, and close-up to show technique.

Sandra Rowell, Unit Manager for Smithers Oasis® Floral Products, said: “I would like to say a big thank you to all the colleges who submitted entries and the students for taking part in the first round of the 2017 college competition.
 
“The number of entries was phenomenal compared to previous years.

“We judged each entry with great care and attention to detail, ensuring the brief was understood and stuck to, and the retail costing method was correctly achieved, good application of the principles and elements of design were demonstrated and the product was commercial viable.

“Well done to each and every one of you for the great work and good luck for the final.”

Sue Lee, a floristry lecturer at Houghall, added: “This result is tremendous to have two students in the final at both levels.

“We encourage our students to enter competitions as this is a great opportunity for them to test their skills and create a design which they may have admired or been inspired by, working to a competition brief to create a bespoke floristry design.

“The learners’ confidence levels increase dramatically after entering any competition, just from the feedback and the judges’ comments.

“To be able to add competition results to CVs is also attractive to employers and gives our students an edge over other applicants.

“In the coming weeks we are coaching and training Eve and Hannah with simple challenges and tasks to increase their skills and confidence levels ahead of the final.               

“Finally, I would like to thank fellow college lecturer Greg Corcoran for the tremendous photos he took for all our students’ competition entries.”

Eve and Hannah are delighted they will get the chance to compete at the finals against other floristry students from all around the country.

Eve’s reaction when she heard the news was: “I can’t believe it, I am over the moon. Somerset here we come.”

And for Eve this was the second recent competition win.

The college ran a competition with its students, ahead of the recent visit of HRH The Princess Royal, to design the hand posy she would be presented with.

Eve’s design was selected and she got to present it to the Princess as part of the official opening ceremony of the redeveloped Houghall campus in January.

The Smithers Oasis® Floral Products 2017 College Competition final will be held at Bridgewater & Taunton College, Somerset, on Tuesday 13th June 2017.

If you would like to find out more about our full and part time floristry courses, please check out the floristry courses section of the website or call Student Services on 0191 375 4710.