THERE was much to celebrate for Ainsdale in Bloom after the green-fingered group were given multiple awards for brightening up the village.
The volunteers were given Gold by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chairman of Britain in Bloom North West, Bernard Pendleton, following a visit by judges in July.
They were also named ‘Joint Best Town in the North West’, a title they will share with Nantwich, which is an honour that Ainsdale members say was “completely unexpected.”
Brenda Porter, the chairman of Ainsdale in Bloom, said: “At Ainsdale in Bloom we are committed to Ainsdale and the honours we have received has recognised this commitment by all involved.
“We are delighted that our community as a whole has been honoured by the Royal Horticultural Society North West, a much respected organisation who over the years has both supported us and encouraged us to spread our wings and be represented in our own right not just a suburb of Southport.
“The evenings awards had left most of us quite emotional as we just did our best and did not expect such accolades. We have a supportive community, including local businesses, and that has been an important factor in our success.”
The awards were handed out at a fundraising dinner held at Dolce Vita on Monday, November 15.
The presentation also saw an ‘Outstanding Award’ for their Neighbourhood Section, which was also part of the Ainsdale in Bloom entry, which recognised Friends of Ainsdale Village Park, Friends of the Community Garden and Ainsdale Village Bloomers, who had entered for the first time and are responsible for enhancing the village highway with planters and the Co-op Garden.
Merefield Special School, part of the Ainsdale in Bloom entry, received a special certificate having impressed the judges.
The school was represented at the dinner by their headteacher and two of the teachers leading the school for gardening.
A further certificate was awarded to Sefton’s Natural Alternatives, who work closely within Ainsdale in Bloom, and have built the highway planters. The group, who have learning difficulties, have excellent skills that benefit not only Ainsdale but others throughout Sefton.