Darren – Gardening Peer Support

I’m really enjoying my job, working with clients and helping others.

Darren is employed by Ellingham as a Gardening Assistant and Peer Support within the I Can Ventures enterprises.

Darren was formerly employed by Ellingham as a gardener but has developed into a new role, with added duties, including assisting the tutors in the gardening programmes and woodcraft activity areas at the Ellingham road site and Chargeable Lane (site of our Horticulture project).

Darren is relishing his new responsibilities: “I’m really enjoying my job, working with clients and helping others. I’m good at gardening and now I’ve got the chance do more, helping the clients with watering and weeding.”

Darren also supports the training activities in each area, ensuring the clients with limited abilities are enabled to participate and work safely. When the gardening group goes out into the community to do their work experience, Darren ensures the trainees have the assistance and support they need, showing them the techniques required to get the jobs done, and focusing on the health, safety and wellbeing of ICV clients. “I make sure the clients don’t hurt themselves”, explains Darren “and I like helping with the Woodwork.”

Rosemary Clark, Darren’s manager could not be more pleased with his progress: “Darren is progressing really well in his new role. He has become more confident in working with clients and this has given him the opportunity to show them his gardening skills, imparting his knowledge and experience. Darren is a great assistant and an asset in the activity areas, enabling clients with higher support needs to learn and get involved. He is patient and encouraging and observes their work practices to ensure they are safe and enjoy the activities.”