Between 2017-2019, The Allotment Project started to gain some serious attention and recognition; from winning at the Norwich and Norfolk Eco Awards for best ‘eco-secondary school’ in the county in 2017-18, and again in 2018-19, to subsequently appearing on regional (Anglia News) and live national television (BBC Breakfast).
Matt Willer himself won the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society’s ‘School Gardening Champion of the Year’ national award in 2018 and later won the Norwich and Norfolk ‘Eco Hero’ award, by public vote, in 2019.
Matt has also published many articles about his experiences of creating The Allotment Project in leading magazines such as Permaculture, The Royal Horticultural Society’s The Garden, Norfolk Life, Norfolk Suffolk Life and the Waitrose Weekend magazine.
Matt was personally invited to meet HRH The Prince of Wales at the Sandringham Flower Show for his environmental work and has subsequently received visits to The Allotment Project from Sir Nicholas Bacon (President of The Royal Horticultural Society), the Bishop of Norwich and Frances Tophill from BBC Gardener’s World.
Matt has also been on the discussion panel for the Norfolk & Norwich Horticultural Society for a public discussion about ‘Gardening for All’ and how to get more people, including children and young people, involved in gardening.
These hard won accolades, media attention and other public events catapulted The Allotment Project at Reepham High School and College, along with the very idea of taking school gardening seriously, to a whole new level; all helping ‘The Allotment Project’ to become one of the leading secondary school gardens/allotments in the country. The success of ‘The Allotment Project’, along with the experiences gained from creating and developing it, have directly inspired the creation of ‘The Papillon Project’ which, with enormous zeal, energy, passion and determination, desires to replicate ‘The Allotment Project’ at Reepham High School and College, in other secondary schools and colleges across Norfolk.
Images below show (amongst other images):
Matt Willer being awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s national award as ‘School Gardening Champion of the Year 2018’ by BBC Gardner’s World Presenter, Frances Tophill
Over 3000 people voted for Matt to be the 2018-19 ‘Eco-Hero’ for Norfolk and Norwich
Matt’s articles have featured in the international Permaculture Magazine which shares inspirational ideas on how we can all lead more sustainable lives.
#Allotment on the way @klAcademy! ᗩᗰᗩᘔIᑎG progress being made so far from young people from Forward Steps! Why bother to buy brand new when you can #reuse perfectly usable old fencing! Genuine privilege for @ThePapillonPro🦋 to be working with this school in West Norfolk. https://t.co/UmzzShrXvS