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[06 MAY 99] BUSINESS LINK PRESS RELEASE
Mr Rotavator Turns Young Fingers Green

Success is flowering for a young Warwickshire business - thanks to Enterprise Link Coventry & Warwickshire.

'Mr Rotavator' is the brainchild of professional landscape gardener Steve Brookes, age 37, whose mission is to encourage children to do more than just play in the garden.

Mr Rotavator and Dawn Horne
(LEFT TO RIGHT) DAWN HORNE, BUSINESS ADVISOR AT ENTERPRISE LINK WITH STEVE BROOKES (ALIAS MR ROTAVATOR).

His new venture is designed to encourage a love of nature and give youngsters the practical know-how to get digging and planting for themselves.

"Young children don't always have the opportunity to learn about growing flowers and vegetables from their parents and grandparents," said Steve, whose love of gardening was fostered by his own grandfather.

Steve's enthusiasm for amateur dramatics helped him to create the friendly 'Mr Rotavator' persona, transforming himself by greying his hair and donning colourful patchwork dungarees. His specially cultivated personality is backed by a programme of workpacks and workshops designed to suit four and twelve year olds.

Mr Rotavator goes out into schools, tailoring his approach depending on whether the children's background is rural or urban and his work is closely related to the National Curriculum key stages 1 and 2.

"The aim is to ensure we match the experiences and environment of the pupils," he said.

To help get the business off the ground, Steve, and his wife Anne, studied marketing and Anne has achieved the National Vocational Qualification [NVQ] at level three in business planning.

In addition, with the help of Enterprise Link adviser Dawn Home, he was able to obtain some start up funding from the Single Regeneration Budget [SRB].

Dawn is confident that the seeds for the success of the business are already sown.

"New ideas are often difficult to get off the ground and 1 am delighted that we were able to assist," she said.

For the future, Mr Rotavator appears well on the way to becoming a leading brand with exposure secured in the media and sponsorship from specialist gardening products manufacturers.

And, he has launched a national gardening club for children which has already attracted 150 members.

"Business is flourishing. We are getting enquiries from schools all over England and are involved in a number of exciting new projects, including a series of three school programmes for Channel Four.

"After all the spadework, we can now look forward to a rosy future," added Steve.

 MORE INFORMATION: Jane Grant or Tracey Hewlett  01926 425533
   

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