Thursdays was a cycle out to Athol House, a Leonard Cheshire home near Crystal Palace, who provide services for adults with physical disabilities and mental impairments.
Our main tasks were harvesting vegetables in the garden for the cooks to use for dinner later on.
Not all the vegetable beds were wheelchair accessible which was a challenge so I’d ask the residents partaking in the project to choose which veg they thought was ripe for harvesting, and which to leave for another day, then I’d pick their selected choices.
At Thrive, I learnt that it can be important to know a little of the gardeners background and also how important it is to observe their behaviour: One of the gardeners, who’d suffered a bad stroke – but had a very motherly character would often be given the job of chopping veg. Not only is it a motherly job but it is also a good task for fine motor skills. Another gardener could become very anxious and paranoid, but he loved gadgets, so a good distraction from his episodes of paranoia would be to show him some gadgets. This showed it was good to get to know the gardeners and their issues as it was then possible to tailor the day to support them in the best possible way.
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