The WFGA Today
The WFGA is a registered charity (212527) run by a Board of Trustees.
In 2020 the WFGA took the decision to change it’s working name to the “Working For Gardeners Association”. The Association feels that this better reflects the work that we do in the 21st century, helping anybody interested in horticulture to increase their skills and experience. We will still keep The Women’s Farm and Garden Association as our formal name and maintain the respect that guided those original aims.
The Board of the WFGA is well established and each Trustee is elected for 3 years under the edit of the Charities Commission. Each Trustee brings different skills to the Board and everyone offers their services on a voluntary basis;
Vanessa is the Chair of the WFGA, a member then Trustee since 2003 she took on the Chair role in 2017. Following a 30 year career in investment banking, Vanessa planned a career-change for a few years before finally taking the plunge in 2017. Her WRAGS training was at Chenies Manor, a long standing WRAGS placement garden. She is now a professional gardener, including Chenies as well as some London gardens, where she lives in and continues her search for that elusive allotment plot! Vanessa is also a Board Member of the Royal Society of Asian Affairs. Vanessa brings financial, marketing, logistics and IT skills to the Board. She is a strong believer in ‘career changer’ opportunities in Horticulture and focus on how the WFGA can deliver this.
Annette Pursey had a career in finance before re-training into horticulture, which enabled her to work around her family. Today she is the Horticultural Head Tutor at Waterperry Gardens in Oxford, teaching Royal Horticultural Society and Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh theory and practical examination courses, plus several short courses for both amateur and professional gardeners. Annette also works as a professional gardener and horticultural consultant.
Clare has been a Board member since 2014 and a WFGA member since 2003. Her primary role as a Trustee, is to focus and guide on all things press and publicity related. Clare is an author and journalist writing about gardening, travel, the coast and homes for a variety of consumer magazines and newspapers including The Guardian, The Simple Things, Homes & Antiques and Conde Nast Traveller. Previous roles have included Editor of Coast and Grand Designs magazines. She is also the author of The National Trust Book of the Coast and several National Trust guidebooks. Her gardening interests include helping to manage a community growing garden in North London and cultivating her own garden. She also has an RHS certificate in Horticulture and a City and Guilds in garden design and hard landscaping.
Christabel’s enthusiasm for gardening at home, led to her helping friends and family and ultimately to the decision to retrain as a gardener in 2016. Having successfully completed the English Gardening School Diploma and a WRAGS placement at Chenies Manor, Christabel started her own small gardening business. In recent years, Christabel has invested much of her time in volunteer roles in her local community and most recently as the Editor of the WFGA Newsletter.
Amanda joined the WFGA as a Trustee in 2021. Her early career was in politics, working for Geoffrey Howe and Margaret Thatcher. Since then she has focused on developing and restoring her garden whilst engaging in a large number of community roles. In April 2020 she became High Sheriff of Oxfordshire. She is a founder trustee of The Rectory Society and is currently assisting with the Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire’s response to the Queen’s Green Canopy project in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee.
The office is staffed by two part-time administrators who support 18 Regional Managers.
Tracy is one of two administrators for the WFGA based at our Trull HQ. She has worked for a number of Charities in the past and has also worked in administration in the medical field and in animal welfare both in the UK and overseas. She has two dogs that take up a lot of time and enjoys taking walking holidays along with the family to the national parks in England and Wales. She joined the WFGA in 2015 and loves the variety of work involved, including the financial aspects of the job, managing the NGS bursaries and the Christine Ladley Awards.
Julia is one of two administrators for the WFGA based at our Trull HQ. She has a wide experience in charity and business administration, computing, logistics, managing and planning graduate recruitment to name a few areas of speciality in her career. She also has a passion for craft and runs her own glass jewellery business. She has worked for a charity outsourcing company, with responsibility for the administration of a 300 year old charity. She joined the WFGA in 2016 and enjoys the variety of work. Julia is also our Workshops and Practical Skills Days co-ordinator and planner.