Number 10 Downing Street calling for Ottery florist Caitlin, 18

Florist Caitlin Anning was one of a small team summoned to Number 10 Downing Street to create flower

Florist Caitlin Anning was one of a small team summoned to Number 10 Downing Street to create flower displays - Credit: Archant

After being picked to create displays at the Prime Minister’s residence, former King’s School student is preparing to battle it out for a chance to represent the UK on the world stage

An 18-year-old Ottery florist was called to Number 10 Downing Street last week to create displays ahead of the Chinese Premier’s state visit.

Caitlin Anning opened her own business just three months ago, but her talents have already caught the eye of the Prime Minister and secured her a place competing against the top ten florists in the country.

The former King’s School student has already come back down to earth after her trip to Downing Street last Wednesday and is preparing for a major contest in Birmingham in November.

Having beaten off competition in the regional heats, Caitlin will be battling it out against nine other florists for a chance to represent her country in the World Skills Competition 2016.

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Speaking about her trip to Number 10, the owner of Forget Me Not Florist in Budleigh Salterton said: “I got a call from my tutor at the Academy of Flower Art where I trained. She had the opportunity to go up and she needed people she thought were good enough to go.

“We left Devon at about 2am and drove up in two cars. We had a look around the flower market and went into Number 10 at about 8.30am.

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“We were meant to go back and actually meet the Prime Minister, but he was tied up. We went with a red colour scheme because it is the Chinese lucky colour, which was also nice because it fitted with the autumnal colours.

“We did a few designs incorporating pumpkins and orange colours.

“It was nerve-wracking.

“It does not really hit you until you are at the door.

“We had to go through two lots of security.”

Caitlin’s parents Graham and Jackie, of Chineway Road, are partners in the business but do not have a background in floristry themselves. They say they are very proud of their daughter’s incredible achievements.

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