The WFGA Today
The WFGA is a registered charity (212527) run by a Board of Trustees.
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.
Vivienne has an extensive career in HR, Personnel development and adult education. Vivienne represents the WRAGS Regional Managers at Board Level and is also the WRAGS Regional Manager for Oxfordshire and Bucks region since 2005. She is a Lecturer in HR Practice, a local School and a Development Governor. Vivienne is an active gardener and completed her WRAGS training at Langstone House, before committing to the Regional Manager role in 2005. Vivienne has a RHS Level 2 (Credit) and is member of the Professional Gardeners Guild. She brings deep knowledge of best practices in HR, employment law, and continuous professional development (CPD) as well as extensive gardening knowledge to the Board.
Andrew is a long standing ‘WRAGS’ Garden Owner, and has trained many students of the Scheme. For the past 15 years is the Director and Founder of Brannfords Garden Makers, a horticultural business specialising in the design, build and maintenance of private gardens in Oxon, Bucks and Berks. Prior to this, Andrew had an extensive knowledge of Direct Marketing and brings this skill set to the Board. In his former career, he worked in senior management in direct marketing agencies and was a consultant at the Institute of Direct Marketing, ad agencies and key blue chip clients. He was also the founder of direct marketing at The Economist Group. Andrew brings insights into marketing, media, brand management to the Board as well as being an invaluable Garden owner.
Lorraine became a Board Trustee in 2017. A Geography graduate, after a period volunteer teaching in East Africa, she spent over 30 years in primary teaching. An active member of her church and local community, she also trained as a voluntary youth worker. Lorraine established her own career-changing gardening business in Berkshire following her WRAGS training with Florence Gardening.
She is particularly keen to ensure that the WFGA continues to develop to serve new generations of gardeners. Lorraine brings management, training and community organisation skills the Board.
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.
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.