John Ashley has been officially named as the new Chairman of Greenfingers – the nationwide charity dedicated to creating inspiring outdoor spaces for children in hospices around the country.
John, who has previously held the office of Vice Chairman for Greenfingers, takes up his role as the tenure of outgoing Chairman, Matthew Wilson, comes to an end. The official handover of the Chairmanship took place in a relaxed ceremony at Clifton Nurseries in London’s Little Venice on 14th July 2015.
John Ashley is a much-respected member of the horticultural community, having first joined the industry in 1972 with Fisons. He subsequently set up the Miracle-Gro business in Europe, which eventually became part of the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company. He is still involved in the Scotts business as well as also being involved in Scotsdales Garden Centre. He will bring his considerable industry experience and influence to bear on his role as Greenfingers Chairman as he leads the charity for the next three years.
John Ashley commented on his new role saying: “Having worked with brand leaders throughout my career one of my objectives is to make Greenfingers a leader in its field. I am very much looking forward to continuing the good work that Richard Jackson initiated when he founded the charity and the excellent work Matthew Wilson has done in the last three years.”
Deborah Skillicorn, former Greenfingers Charity Director, added: “We are thrilled to announce John Ashley as our new Chairman today and warmly welcome him in to his new role. After three very fruitful and successful years with Matthew Wilson at the helm we know John will continue to take our charity forward, particularly as we are also launching a major new appeal.
Our thanks go to Matthew for his hard work and commitment during his time as Chair and we extend our gratitude to John for taking on the role – he is already a very valued member of the board and we very much look forward to his continued involvement as he takes the lead.”
Matthew Wilson commented: “My time as chairman of Greenfingers has been immensely rewarding – to have been involved in the development of some of the amazing gardens Greenfingers has created has been an honour. I wish John a huge amount of luck as the new Chairman, I know he will do a fantastic job and am sure he will enjoy it as much as I have.”
Matthew Wilson will stay on the board at Greenfingers and will also continue to be closely involved in the charity’s Garden Expert Group, which oversees the garden design elements of Greenfingers work. The end of Matthew’s Chairmanship also sees the end of Greenfingers most recent appeal, The Rosy Cheeks Appeal, which successfully raised £750,000 over a two-year period, which is being used to create 10 more garden spaces at hospices around the country.
Greenfingers launched a major new appeal today to coincide with John Ashley’s appointment. The Greenfingers ‘A Million Moments’ Appeal will see the charity aiming to raise £1 million to create 15 more inspiring garden spaces. It is hoped these gardens will reach at least a further 5,000 children and families who use hospices services around the country by bringing them the precious gift of a garden.
The appeal name encapsulates the charity’s commitment to providing beautiful, specially designed gardens and outdoor spaces where families who spend time in hospices can share precious moments together, away from the rigours of the bedside.