GLH tenant James lives in supported housing in Shropshire. He’s always had a real passion for the outdoors and after studying horticulture at college he wanted to get a job.
“My CV is out of this world, and I’m proud of it,” says James, GLH tenant.
“My ancestors were farmers, and my interest for it all started from there. I’ve studied at different colleges, and got certificates in horticulture, farming, woodwork, health and safety; these are just a few of the subjects.
While studying, I did some work experience. I was a bit nervous to begin with, but I soon became more confident, and then it was fine. When I left college I wanted to find work.
One day when I was walking up the lane to my house, and John, who owns Netley Landscapes was driving down. He stopped and said, ‘I heard you’re looking for a job,’ and that was it!
I’ve not looked back. I work every Friday, and it’s a paid job so I’ve got money in my pocket. It’s good to earn your own money, it gives you more independence.
I work as part of a team at Netley Landscapes. We cut or strim the grass, plant and do fencing. Everyone’s really friendly and we have a good laugh. The best thing is you never stop learning.
I’m the gardener at home! We’ve got quite a big garden; it takes me about 30 minutes to cut the grass. I’ve also planted some potatoes, I’m waiting until October before I pick them, that’s when they’ll be big enough – I’m looking forward to cooking and eating them.
I’ve got a real love for tractors too and use drive them. I’d like to get some more work driving one.
The reason I wanted to take part in this story is to inspire other people. There is no such word as ‘can’t’. If you don’t succeed, just keep on trying. I did that, and look at me now.”
John Furniss, owner of Netley Landscapes explains, “James has been with us for a number of years now. He works on a Friday, that’s when we have our mow around day. He’s a lovely lad, hard-working, polite and a valued member of our team. He gets on well with everyone and all have a good laugh.
It’s not just about what James can offer us as his employer, it’s also about what James gets out of it. We know he enjoys working for us, especially mowing and strimming the grass. We’ve watched him blossom and gain more confidence, it’s fantastic to see. I’m very proud that’s he’s a member of our gang.”
Find out more
This year, Mencap’s Learning Disability Week focuses on employment, visit their website to find out more. #LDWeek17