Two schools to receive our RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden

10 January 2023
The charity School Food Matters, along with garden designer Harry Holding, have selected Alec Reed Primary School in Ealing, and The Beacon Church of England Primary School in Liverpool to be the two recipients of their special garden created for RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023.

The School Food Matters Garden, funded by Project Giving Back, highlights and celebrates the importance of children’s access to nature. The relocated garden will provide an invaluable educational resource for the schools once the Show comes to an end. 

For 15 years, School Food Matters has been delivering food education programmes to schoolchildren and invited their partner schools to apply for the RHS Chelsea garden. Alec Reed Primary and The Beacon were selected for the impact the garden will have on their school community, and for great ideas about how to incorporate the garden into the schools’ grounds to be accessible to all and truly thrive. 

Alec Reed Primary School Head Teacher Ann Franklin says: “To hear we have won this competition for the School Food Matters Chelsea Garden for our school and community is wonderful, overwhelming and almost more than we can believe.

“Most of our children have very little outdoor space at home and all of our children are in need of a little extra TLC.  Winning this garden will provide the opportunity for our children to ‘tread gently and to go slowly’ amid the busyness of day-to-day life. The children will be able to find small pockets of inner silence which will allow healing and help them to feel more positive, productive and to be kind.

“Every class will have scheduled sessions in the garden, and they will also have group reading time there which will help them to destress and to relax. The children and community will have the opportunity to help with the garden itself, learning new skills, and how make and correct mistakes. In time this will support a growth mindset approach to life. The benefits are going to be infinite for adults and children alike and we would like to thank you wholeheartedly for this opportunity and gift.”

Child helping outdoors

The Beacon’s Deputy Headteacher Emma Rowley says: “At The Beacon CE Primary, we are so happy we have been selected as one of the two schools who will receive the relocated School Food Matters Garden.  

“Not only will it benefit our Early Years children, but also our whole school community as our KS1 and KS2 children will be able to access this area from their playground every day.  It will also have huge benefits for our wider school community as many of our families walk this way during home time.

 “The amazing opportunities it will give the children will have an impact beyond their school lives into their adult lives.  It will support all of our children’s education - a real-life learning lab, right on our doorstep!  Children will greatly benefit from these kinds of first-hand experiences as our school is based in inner city Liverpool and many of our families do not have access to safe green spaces.”     

She adds: “Children will be able to grow their own vegetables in this area which will be amazing. They can become involved in planting, growing and caring for plants and vegetable. They can enjoy smelling herbs, pulling up carrots and picking tomatoes, and eating them. This will really support healthy eating and children trying new foods.  The practical, hands-on nature of gardening means that children will become strong, active learners.     

“The relocation of this garden will develop important habitats for wildlife in our local area, at a time when shrinking green space and climate change have taken its toll.  The garden will be an area to encourage bees, pollinating the flowers, plants and vegetables.  This in turn will bring more butterflies, insects and birds to the school.  The children will be able to watch the antics of birds and insects up close, interacting with the natural world around them. This will have a positive impact on their education, mental health and well-being.”    

The Beacon students during Market Day

School Food Matters won the opportunity to create a garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in collaboration with the award-winning Harry Holding Studio. Project Giving Back funds gardens for good causes to exhibit at RHS Chelsea Flower Show with a particular focus on the impact the garden can have beyond the show. 

Stephanie Slater, Founder and Chief Executive, School Food Matters says: “Over the past 15 years we’ve helped hundreds of schools across the UK to create beautiful gardens for their children to enjoy.  

“The School Food Matters Garden celebrates all the pleasure, and physical and mental health benefits children receive from time spent in nature. It echoes our mission to give children the knowledge and understanding they need to feed themselves and their future families, while caring for the planet. We are delighted that the children at The Beacon and Alec Reed will be able to enjoy it for years to come.”  

Stephanie Slater adds: “We are very grateful to Project Giving Back and to Harry Holding for this unique opportunity to showcase our vision on an international stage, and to The River Café for supporting the relocation of the garden to our two lucky schools.”

Notes to Editors

  • For more information or to request interviews please contact the School Food Matters media team by emailing  

  • For information on Harry Holding or detail on the garden design please contact Emma Mason on   07762 117433  

  • School Food Matters (SFM) exists to teach children about food and campaigns for healthy, sustainable school meals. The charity provides fully funded food education programmes to schools and uses its 15 years’ experience delivering these programmes to inform and strengthen its campaigns, bringing the voices of children, parents and teachers to government policy.   

  • Harry Holding is a multi-award-winning designer whose design practice Harry Holding Studio, has sustainability and resilience at the core of everything they do. All the way from innovative design concepts to aftercare practices they aim to minimise environmental impact and carbon footprint. Sourcing materials locally and designing resilient plant communities to create rich, biodiverse ecosystems, their gardens are designed to last and enhance the lives of their clients and the natural world. Find out more here.   

  • Project Giving Back (PGB) is a unique grant-making charity that provides funding for gardens for good causes at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. PGB was launched in May 2021 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects on UK charitable fundraising; effects which have since been exacerbated by the cost of living crisis. PGB will fund gardens inspired by a range of good causes at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2022, 2023 and 2024, including 15 gardens at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2023. (Applications for 2022 and 2023 are now closed.)  

  • The River Café  The River Café is a world-renowned London landmark, opened in 1987 by Award-winning chef and bestselling cookbook authors, Ruth Rogers CBE and Rose Gray MBE. The restaurant has had a Michelin star since it was first awarded in 1998. Inspired and influenced by Ruth and Rose’s experience of living and cooking in Italy, The River Café offers Italian food and wines, famously prepared in an open-kitchen with its pink wood-fired oven.