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  1. Our Rising Stars, Tom, Ned and Kieron

    Our Rising Stars, Tom, Ned and Kieron

    Congratulations to Tom Chilton, Ned Antonov and Kieron Pattison for completing our rising stars programme earlier this year. The trio were awarded certificates, a star trophy and cake earlier this month.

    Tom, Ned and Kieron embarked on our rising stars programme back in 2020 when they were selected to participate.

    Rising stars was first introduced by the company seven years ago with the aim of developing the skillset of existing staff members to enable them to one day take on a more senior role within the business. We have made a significant financial investment in the programme to ensure its success.

    The programme focuses on horticultural sessions, operational nursery activities, technical modules and training experiences which leads to a formal qualification in team leading.

    Group managing director and Kieron Pattison.

    Rising stars was open to staff from all parts of the business and an interview process was undertaken to choose candidates.

    The programme was delivered in conjunction with external training providers and included a mixture of on-site training and external training providers.

    Group managing director and Tom Chilton.

    Ex-employee Ian Nelson mentored the growing stars and guided the delegates through the various challenges to ensure they are equipped with the skills and knowledge they will need as managers of the future.

    Group managing director and Ned Antonov.

    Group managing director Graham Richardson said: “We are delighted that Kieron, Tom and Nat have recently passed our Rising Stars programme with flying colours”. “Our aim is to identify tomorrow’s senior managers and equip them with the skills to succeed.”

    “Thanks for persevering, guys; congratulations on your success and best wishes for the future”.

    Rising star Tom Chilton said: “The rising stars was not an easy task to complete, however now it is over, I can see the reward. It helped me to grow my skills in Leadership and Management. To any people thinking of applying in the future, I would recommend it; however, it is good to consider that it isn’t an easy course to complete. COVID did make it even harder due to having to cancel tuition etc., which makes the reward even more worthwhile.”

    Posted 22nd Oct 9:16am
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  2. Working with BBC DIY SOS Children in Need 2022

    Working with BBC DIY SOS Children in Need 2022

    We were delighted to donate a large number of plants and trees to Leeds charity  Getaway Girls, who featured on the BBC One series ‘DIY SOS: The Big Build’.

    Our products were used as part of a life-changing transformation of the charity’s new headquarters for BBC Children in Need 2022.

    Each year, the DIY SOS team take on a big build for Children in Need, with this year’s recipient being Leeds-based Getaway Girls.

    The charity

    Getaway Girls, which was established in 1987, is a fantastic organisation which has been supporting and empowering young women in Leeds for more than 30 years. The charity’s mission is to ensure that all young women and girls in the city region can lead a safe, healthy and fulfilled life.

    Their team focuses on six key areas: empowerment, collaboration, compassion, equality and inclusion, creativity and innovation, and voice and influence.

    The project

    The ambitious project saw a piece of land in Seacroft transformed into a new headquarters for the charity. Fully equipped with a multi-purpose activity space, creche, music and media studio, counselling rooms, office space, a full kitchen, parking space and a garden area.

    That’s where we came in!

    The plants

    Outdoor space is key to leading a healthy life, so we were delighted to donate 148 individual pieces across seven varieties of plants and trees to the project.

    Our supply included:

    • 25 Asplenium scolopendrium
    • 3 Acer palm. diss. ‘Garnet’
    • 30 Lavandula ‘Hidcote’
    • 20 Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’
    • 30 Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’
    • 10 Camassia quamash ‘Orion’ pack’ Bulbs
    • 30 Verbena bonariensis ‘Lollypop’

    Johnsons of Whixley is a three-generation family business located in North Yorkshire, equidistant between York and Harrogate, with over 100 years’ experience in growing and supplying trees, shrubs and plants to UK-wide planting schemes. Being at the heart of Yorkshire ourselves, this project was close to our hearts.

    This opportunity to support such an incredible local organisation was incredibly rewarding and we hope that the outdoor spaces created in this project will be enjoyed for years to come.

    If you have a project that you’d like us to get involved with, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our team today.

    Posted 18th Oct 3:35pm
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  3. New staff members for the maintenance team - Darren and Owen

    New staff members for the maintenance team - Darren and Owen

    We have recently welcomed two new employees to the Johnsons maintenance team. Darren Smith joins us as Assistant Maintenance Manager, and Owen Chappell joins us as a Maintenance Assistant. See what they had to say about their new roles below.

    Darren Smith

    1.How did you celebrate getting your new role?

    I went out and had a beer with some friends.

    2. Where did you previously work, and how will it compare to your new role?

    I worked on gas as a civil engineer, i was also previously a mechanic.

    3. Tell us about your role at JOW; what does it involve

    I am Assistant manager to John price, my role involves fixing anything that breaks, servicing vehicles, and maintaining sites, including buildings, structures, roads, car parks, drainage, production beds and windbreaks.

    4. What are looking forward to most about your new role?

    I look forward to new challenges every day, as no day is the same.

    5. What do you think the challenges will be?

    Learning my way around all of the different sites, as they are pretty big.

    6. Tell us something you have learnt since joining the team:

    I have learnt many things, but I’d probably say learning about irrigation with Wayne as its not something I’ve been involved with before.

    7. What do you like to get up to outside of work?

    I enjoy watching and playing sports and spending time with my family.

    8. Favourite football team?


    9. Have any hobbies?

    Football and golf.

    10. Favourite cuisine?

    Has to be Italian


    Owen Chappell

    1.Your role at Johnsons:

    Maintenance Assistant

    2. What will your role involve?

    It will involve assisting the maintenance team and fixing everything that I can.

    3. Where did you previously work?

    I worked in retail.

    4. What has been your favourite day at JOW since starting?

    Incinerator duty

    5. What would we find you doing on a weekend?


    6. What’s one item you couldnt live without?


    7. Favourite holiday destination?


    8. Favourite TV series?

    How I met your mother

    9. Your go-to takeaway?



    Posted 11th Oct 11:33am
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  4. Johnsons staff members become mental health first aiders

    Johnsons staff members become mental health first aiders

    Johnsons employees Dave Barrett and Eleanor Richardson recently completed a two-day mental health course and became mental health first aiders.

    Johnsons consider mental health and employee well-being in the workplace a priority, the first aiders will be the go-to contacts for anyone who is going through some form of crisis or mental health issue at work.

    All 140 Employees at Johnsons will be encouraged to speak to the mental health first aiders who will then offer a listening ear and assist in informing them of the various agencies and helping advise on the available channels.

    Dave and Eleanor are also in talks with the senior management team within the company and hope to make improvements to support their newfound course qualifications they have already implemented a specific email address where employees can contact the mental health first aiders direct.

    Just as we all have physical health, we also have mental health. Like physical health, mental health can fluctuate from good to poor. Mental health can affect any of us irrespective of age, personality or background and can be an effect of experiences in our personal and working lives, or there might not even be a reason for it. Approximately one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.

    Johnsons retail unit manager and newly trained mental health first aider, Dave Barrett said: “ I think it’s more important than ever to make sure that everyone’s mental health is taken as seriously as their physical health. It became apparent more than ever during lockdown the fragility of everyone’s mental health and the impact this can play on our everyday lives.

    I wanted to educate myself, so I can understand not only how to care for myself but also for others around me, both at work and at home.

    The fact that 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health issue in any given year shows that people’s need to understand and offer help is so important.”

    Johnsons office and marketing manager, Eleanor Richardson added: “Mental health is not one-size-fits-all, it can affect every walk of life at different points in someone’s life, and people shouldn’t feel ashamed of struggling with their mental health.

    I hope people will feel comfortable coming forward and talking should they want to; Dave and I now have the tools, training and knowledge to actively listen to their situations and to help them.

    It also made me think about ways in which we can make improvements in the workplace and what else we can do to support our employees – watch this space!”

    Posted 10th Oct 8:55am
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