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Thursday 22 July 2021

Covid Pandemic Opens Doors For Sussex Charity's College Competition

Students with additional educational needs from across the South have come together to participate in the South of England Agricultural Society's 23rd Jim Green Challenge. But, due to Covid, the format of the competition changed for 2021.

The event historically has been a closed-door competition for students at land-based colleges and specialist day centres whereby at the start of the autumn term a schedule is provided with details of the items they will be making in the run up to the event and the tasks they will take part in on the day. 

There is a different theme each year with an agricultural or horticultural link. 

The challenge day usually takes place in March, but due to the pandemic the Society decided on a different format this year.

Instead, the students were challenged in the run up to the South of England Show and all entries were put on display at the three-day agricultural show, for thousands of people to see.  

Judging took place before the show started so that a spotlight could be shone on the winning pieces.

Participants in the Society's event this year were Aldingbourne Trust, Crawley College, Hadlow College, Manor Green College, Plumpton College and Woodlands Meed.

The categories included:

Make a sculpture of an endangered species
Make a model depicting 'food from the farm to our fork'
Decorate a wooden clock made using hand-held tools
Plan a small window box
Make a self-supporting scarecrow of Boris Johnson
A spokesperson for the South of England Agricultural Society, said: 

"This annual event is hosted in memory of Jim Green, a farmer and previous Chairman of the Society, also a Governor of Brinsbury and Plumpton colleges, who had a particular interest in special educational needs. 

"It is a highlight in so many people's calendars, so we were keen to ensure it still went ahead.  

"Everyone who took part was delighted with the event this year as it gave an opportunity for their talent to be displayed at the Society"s flagship show.

"The Education Committee is delighted to be able to stage this event which combines many of the aspects of Jim Green's life in offering education to young people on the countryside and farming and providing links between schools and colleges.  

"We are delighted and proud to recognise their creativity and innovation."

For more information on the South of England Agricultural Society, or to find out how you can support the charity visit

by: Mike Cobley


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