Sowing the seeds of friendship

Written by Jenny Curran, support worker, Wirral.

At the beginning of June I was asked by my team leader if I could organise a gardener for the service that I work in.  After some thought I decided I would attempt it myself and make it into a project for both the people I support.

I discussed my ideas with Clive and John, both supported, my team leader and the families; everyone agreed it sounded like a fun project.

We began with the front garden which peaked the neighbours’ interest; the people who live across the road came over and introduced themselves as Lorraine and Marty. They offered us their advice and guidance and at some stages became very hands on; they even bought two lovely novelty lights to put in the back garden and got on really well with Clive and John.

Their interest was followed by another neighbour, Val, who kindly gave us some weed suppressant to assist with our project, and advice on the best places to get items we needed. Yet another neighbour Alice offered us the use of her gardening tools as we didn’t have many.

While I did the heavier work; Clive and John assisted with choosing and placing pots, plants and lighting.

Once the front garden was complete we decided to tackle the back; which was a little bit like a jungle! After a chat with Clive and John we decided that we would build a raised bed so the men could grow their own vegetables and tend to them themselves. Clive and John chose decorations to make the area more welcoming and friendly.

The neighbour next door, Emily was interested in what we were doing; offered the use of her tools and gave us some mesh to cover our raised bed once it was finished. Both Clive and John enjoyed a chat with Emily whenever they saw her.

Since beginning this project Clive and John have made a lots of new friends and really found a place for themselves within their local community. Whenever we go outside we always stop for a friendly chat with the neighbours. Clive and John have also developed skills that they didn’t normally use and we now have a house that is really welcoming to anyone that visits.