Posted on 29 November 2017
Elizabeth Newcombe, who is currently studying for her Masters Diploma in Professional Floristry at Merrist Wood College, has recently been awarded a silver medal at The Skills Show Competition at the NEC in Birmingham.
In June, Elizabeth finished in first place at the WorldSkills UK regional heats, joining seven other finalists to create five designs, including two surprise items, at The Skills Show in November. Tens of thousands of young people arrived at the NEC in Birmingham to watch the UK finalists compete, meet colleges and employers, listen to inspirational talks and even have a go at some of the skills themselves.
The five floral task the competitors were asked to complete consisted of a floor standing floral arrangement to be displayed in the foyer of the fashion show, a floral body sash to be worn on the catwalk, a wired bridal design to be carried at the finale of the fashion show, a hand tied bouquet to be given to the fashion designer at the end of the fashion show, and a waterfall floral arrangement to be placed on the front edge of the catwalk.
Elizabeth will now join Team UK to train for the international WorldSkills competition, which is held every two years to showcase the talents of young people from across the globe. The competition encourages them to be the best in their skill of choice and is the biggest vocational education and skills excellence event in the world.
During her time at the College, Elizabeth has progressed from the Level 2 Diploma in Professional Floristry to the Level 5 Masters Diploma in Professional Floristry. Speaking to the British Florist Association, Elizabeth commented: “My parents have always encouraged me to be passionate about what I do in my choice of career. So far, I have worked through levels two, three, four and now five of the City and Guilds and have most definitely made the right choice!"
"There are so many talented and creative people in this industry but there are a couple who have left lasting impressions on me. I was lucky enough to see a live demonstration by Gregor Lersch at college, this introduced me to European styles and to see him working with his distinctive way of blending sustainability with his art and passion for flowers was amazing.”
“My college tutor Laura has also been a great inspiration, she has taught me that attention to detail matters and the ability to achieve thoroughness and accuracy when accomplishing a task and to develop my own unique style. Without her encouragement and belief I wouldn’t be here.”
Elizabeth’s tutor, Laura Hawken, said: “We are extremely proud of Elizabeth. She has continually worked hard throughout her time at the College, which is evident in her achievements so far and we wish her the best of luck at WorldSkills.”