Parklea aims to deliver a range of training, supported employment, recreational and social facilities to empower individuals with the skills and confidence to assist in their inclusion within the community.
Cameron is employed as a landscape maintenance worker 2.5 days each week. His tasks include maintaining planting beds in the town centre, gritting paths, general gardening activities and landscape maintenance work. Before starting his job, Cameron has no gardening experience but did have previous experience of woodwork, pressure washing and general health and safety. Cameron is working towards his Grow and Learn ‘Roots’ award at Parklea, below is a short extract of a recent conversation with him.
What do you like about your job and gardening?
“It’s pleasant at Parklea, I like being outdoors and not confined to an indoor space. I get on well with the lads, Christine and my boss Aldo. I enjoy the physical work and the variety. I like being paid, I feel my job gives me responsibility.”
What do you not like? “Nothing, when it’s really cold outside.”
Since working at Parklea and working on your G&L award what new skills have you learned?
“I have learned to use a log splitter, grinding disc and a large cultivator. I can now use all of this machinery without support, only now with a little supervision. Building the raised beds was the most difficult skill I have learned.”
Do you garden at home? “No.”
Since starting your job and working towards your G&L award, have you developed any personal skills?
“I didn’t know anyone when I first started and had no confidence to speak with people at first. I got to know Aldo, then Mark and I am able to speak with people more now. I am now getting on well with people at Parklea.
I am also an ambassador for the West of Scotland College in Greenock. I am sharing my experience with students about the ‘ready to work readiness award’. I tell them all about my experience about customer service, how I solve complaints. I tell students about what an employer likes to see, and I always say get there on time and always be polite. I like sharing my experience and helping other people.”
Has your job and working towards your G&L award given you ideas about the future?
“Yes, I will always want to work outdoors.”
Is it a good idea to have personal goals?
“Yes, mine is to keep working on getting a job completed on time.”
Since coming to Parklea, do you want to garden more now?
“Yes, at first I wondered if Parklea was one of these ones again, but its not, its completely different and I am learning a lot.”
Have you shared your gardening skills with others?
“Yes, that’s one of the best things about coming to Parklea. I get on well with Davy and I help him in the garden. When he isn’t in a good mood, I help him and remind him when we are on site, and we all need to all work well together.”
How would you describe Parklea and learning about gardening?
“If you are willing to put the effort in you will have fun!”