Clare Tresidder (CO10) and The Seaweed Gardeners

Claire Tresidder (CO10) explains how she has helped to inspire a group of existing students in this year’s Young Enterprise Competition.

May 2010, Truro School Sixth Form leavers’ assembly, my closing line to my fellow students: along the way we’ll all make mistakes but the fun in life is in the journey.

Of course, I did not know what the journey ahead would hold for me on leaving Truro School, but I knew this was a lesson I’d hold with me throughout my life. Unfortunately, the importance of not dwelling on the past, but instead making the most of opportunities became obvious to me sooner than I had imagined as, immediately after graduating, family heartbreak brought me back home to Cornwall, forcing me to reconsider the career I had mapped out for myself as a professional tennis player. However, sticking to my philosophy of embracing the unexpected detours in life’s journey, I seized the opportunity offered tome to return back to the school, high on the hill.

My journey since September 2015 has taken me on a steep learning curve, but it has certainly never been boring! In great part, this has been down to acting as the Centre Lead for the Younger Enterprise company, The Seaweed Gardeners, a group of 4th Year pupils with the vision of turning materials usually thrown away into something useful that will benefit the environment, whilst embracing the opportunities that were available to them living so close to the sea. Intent on achieving their aim, this group of determined girls began by creating a seaweed-based plant food and their business has grown rapidly from there.

The girls have featured on local radio stations: Pirate, Heart, BBC Radio Cornwall, and CHBN; and they have also been featured in Business Cornwall, the West Briton and the Western Morning News, securing front page coverage and a double–page spread in the latter over the weekend of the Royal Cornwall Show, where they joined the Truro School stand to sell their products. Further to this they were invited to sell at Toby Buckland’s Garden Festival at Powderham Castle, where Jim Buttress, ex-gardener to the Queen, described them as innovative and impressive. Their products are currently stocked in a number of garden centres and retail outlets throughout Devon and Cornwall and they have both an Etsy and Ebay account through which purchases can be made.

The major highlights of the year so far have included receiving the Young Enterprise Award from Levi Roots at the Cornwall Business Awards; being crowned Company of the Year in the Cornwall round of the Young Enterprise competition; and finally, on Wednesday 15 June, the company winning the South West England Young Enterprise Company of the Year Award, with the Regional Manager from Asda stating the he would stock their products tomorrow. The Seaweed Gardeners now go on to the National Young Enterprise Finals, which are being held at the Emirates Stadium, London on Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 July, where they will face competition from 14 other Young Enterprise companies from all over the country.

The Seaweed Gardeners made mistakes along the way; their first attempt at product diversification didn’t sell very well; and they felt down and demotivated at times; but it’s ok to make mistakes – we all do. The journey is to be enjoyed for what it is, and in that spirit I look forward to the rest of my journey here at Truro School.

Claire Tresidder (CO10), Business Studies Teacher and PE Graduate Teacher

If you are able to lend support to The Seaweed Gardeners when they attend the National Young Enterprise Finals, at the Emirates Stadium, London please make contact with Claire Tresidder:

Alternatively, the girls are seeking to develop links with local businesses – if you can help please get in touch.