Floristry In Bloom at East Durham College’s Houghall Campus

Fri, 16/07/2021 - 10:44

After a couple of years quite unlike any other, it looks like more and more people are revaluating their career goals and turning their attention towards  a career change and for many, that’s in the field of floristry.

Interest in floristry at East Durham College’s Houghall campus in Durham is at an all-time high this year; with such high demand, the college’s floristry department has seen rapid expansion, having to employ new, experienced floristry lecturers and put on extra classes to ensure interested students can study on the course they want to do.

Rebecca Hough, programme area leader for floristry at East Durham College, thinks there’s a number of factors which are attributed to the huge bloom in floristry’s popularity. “First of all, floristry has never been so trendy!” Rebecca said. “If you look on Instagram you’ll see flowers and plants all over the place. Floristry is now becoming a really important part of interior design too, so it’s getting in front of more and more eyes every single year.

“Then of course there’s the effect of COVID and the lockdowns over the past year. Sadly, many people have been made redundant through lockdown they’ve realised that what they were doing at the moment just isn’t for them, and they’ve thought ‘Well, why not give floristry a try?’. A lot of people studying with us have been in other careers and want to mix things up by trying a career in this creative industry.”

East Durham College’s floristry courses are suitable for learners of all ages. In fact, the vast majority of learners coming to study floristry at the college are adults who either want to pursue floristry as a hobby, or as a potential future career path.

As many students will still be working while studying at the college, floristry programmes are available both full-time and part-time.

“Many of our students have existing work and life commitments.” Rebecca added. “So our part-time programmes give people the flexibility to study floristry while still fitting in whatever else is happening in their lives!”

Floristry courses are available from Level 1 up to Level 3, allowing students to progress from entry-level skills up to advanced floristry. In November 2021, the college will also begin preparation for offering a Level 4 Foundation Degree in floristry programme for the first time, meaning East Durham College will be the only centre north of York offering a floristry course above Level 3.

In addition to these full-time and part-time courses, East Durham College has also launched their new range of ‘Summer of Floristry’ workshops this year. Through this programme, the college will be offering unique floristry workshops for both beginners and experienced florists wanting to polish up their skills. Workshops include everything from floristry taster days to full three-day wedding masterclasses, meaning there’s something for everyone!

In order to ensure floristry courses are taught to the highest standard at the college, lecturers working in the department are all highly experienced too.

Floristry Team.jpg

The EDC Houghall Floristry Team 2021

Rebecca Hough, the head of department, is a Chelsea Flower Show gold medallist, while Jennifer Jones won a Silver Medal in the Worldskills National Finals 2019. Two of our other lecturers, Allan Raby and Charlotte Perrett have owned their own floristry businesses. Allan is also a former EDC floristry student who loved his time with us so much, he wanted to come back to teach the next generation of florists too! Allan also won a bronze medal Chelsea Flower Show, and was the Student of the Year at the Harrogate Flower Show.

Competitions also play an integral part of studying floristry at East Durham College. Students regularly get the chance to enter into competitions such as the Chelsea Flower Show or Worldskills, where they get the opportunity to show what they’ve learnt competing against other colleges and experienced florists too.

The college has had amazing success this year in the Worldskills competition. 32 Houghall students were entered into the competitions’ first round and out of that group, 23 were selected to go through to the next round. Nationally, only 84 students got through to the second round, meaning out of that number, over a quarter of the students study floristry at East Durham College.

The college is also celebrating success at the British Florist Association awards this year. EDC has been nominated for Training Provider of the Year, all 4 floristry tutors have been nominated for Tutor of the Year and EDC student Daisy Rocke is in the running for Student of the Year too!

“If anyone is considering floristry as a career, I’d say go for it!” Rebecca said. “There’s loads of people out there just like you who are interested and potentially coming to study with us in September, and whether you’re new to floristry or looking to gain further experience with a higher level course, there’s something for you here at East Durham College.”

For more information on East Durham College’s range of floristry course programmes taught at the Houghall campus on the outskirts of Durham city centre, please visit the college website by clicking here.