Thanks from Roy Vickery, SLBI President, in COVID-19 shut-down

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Greetings from the SLBI. Like others we’re currently shut down and have suspended all events until at least 12 April. However much is progressing behind the scenes, and we are grateful to:

– Our staff, our administrator Nell Gatehouse, our individual giving co-ordinator Julia Minnear, our project manager Caroline Pankhurst, and our newly recruited education and outreach officer Sarah Webley who are working from home continuing to take forward a variety of projects.

– Our wardens, Alex Draper and Helen Firminger and their family who are generally keeping an eye on things and ensuring that plants in the conservatory are adequately watered.

– Our gardeners, Sarah Davey and Cath Pearson, who are dealing with the seed-list, working on an inventory of what we have in the garden, and hope to be back caring for our living collections soon.

– Our trustees who are continuing work on BEST (Botanical Education: Sustainable and Thriving) and producing a business plan. Recently we have recruited, but not yet formally co-opted, four new trustees who will bring expertise which has been previously lacking to our board. We welcome and look forward to working with them.

– Jasmin Naim, editor of the SLBI Gazette, who has completed work on the first edition for 2020; which we hope will be sent out soon. Perhaps now’s the time to get on to paper that article you’ve been thinking about and submit it for the next issue?

I’m concentrating on working out how we can bounce back into action as soon as possible, and propagating plants for sale in aid of Institute funds. I’m also posting a daily plant on a local facebook page, hoping to stimulate greater appreciation of the green world.

Our many volunteers are currently unable to continue with their activities, but we remain grateful to their varied contributions to our well-being.

We hope we will all be back to enjoying our normal activities soon. In the meantime, try to stay healthy, try to stay happy; if you are a plant person there are always new friends to find and old friends to meet again. Off to do this, taking my exercise on my local common, meeting old friends, such as coltsfoot, and who knows what new ones.

Best wishes to all,

Roy Vickery, President

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