Ready Steady Grow!

Sunflower growing competition for Mind

Throughout May, June and July, 25 members of Carpenter Box staff took part in a green-fingered race to see who could grow the tallest sunflower!

By making a donation, via our Charitable Foundation, in exchange for seeds and compost, our team of intrepid gardeners raised a grand total of £185 for the charity Mind. Mind offers advice and support to anyone experiencing mental health problems as well as campaign to improve services and raise awareness.

Sowing the seeds

Mental Health Awareness Week took place back in May and the theme this year was “Nature“. According to research, nature can increase our creativity, empathy and sense of wonder. Even small contacts with nature can reduce feelings of social isolation and be effective in protecting our mental health and preventing distress. These benefits are more important now than ever. So to support and encourage this in our working environment, our sunflower growing competition was launched!

Halfway stage

At the end of June we took stock and held a measurement check in. The counts were reported and tallied up on a chart which was shared with the team for comparison and encouragement. The sunflowers were given names and photos were shared on our intranet sunflower gallery. Things were getting exciting as we began to see the fruits of our gardening labour! At this stage it was all to play for as sunflower measurements varied from 10mm to 76mm!

Mike’s sunflower, measuring in at 187cm

Growing pains and flourishing gains

Of course there were some ups and downs along the way. We had the odd casualty, with one contender returning home six weeks in to the competition to find their plant had been almost completely eaten! The resident garden squirrel was the number one suspect, having left a rogue empty monkey nut shell in the pot. Another blow was a spate of stormy weather which battered two other entries. Thankfully they made swift recoveries with some TLC and strategically placed sticks and were soon back in the running.

We also saw some amazing results as well. Some of the sunflowers really surpassed our expectations were truly stunning. Congratulations to Mike Davis, a Trainee in our Business Services team, who won the competition with his sunflower ‘Stan’ which grew to an impressive 187cm!

A huge thank you to all of our amazing committed staff for taking part and donating over the summer in our sunflower growing competition.

You can find out more about the vital work that Mind do or get involved by making a donation or becoming a volunteer by visiting their website.