The Situations staff had a wonderful couple of days last week volunteering at local charity Grow. Guernsey’s Rural Occupational Workshop (GROW), was founded by the Guernsey Society for the Mentally Handicapped (now Guernsey Mencap LGB) back in 1984, and provides training and a sheltered work environment in horticulture for people with a learning disability. Whilst the charity is partially funded by the States of Guernsey, the main source of income is from the sale of plants and by offering garden maintenance services throughout the island. They also rely heavily on donations as the cost of running the operation continues to increase.
Our staff took it in turns to do a stint at the charity, which is situated at Les Petits Quartiers in the Coutanchez, and helped out in the greenhouse and in the work shed, mucking in with weeding and dead heading, working closely with the trainees and sheltered workers.
We all had an amazing time and found it incredibly inspiring. The workers and trainees were all so welcoming and showed us what we needed to do. They obviously love it there and everyone has such a sense of purpose, pride and achievement.
During the morning break, I had the pleasure of chatting to Karl Enticott, one of the workers at Grow, who is clearly very passionate about getting physically and mentally disabled people into the workplace. He feels they are very much an underutilised sector of the workforce and they can offer such passion, love and spirit as he put it, to any organisation. Karl not only works at Grow, but is also involved with other charities and clubs and spends a lot of time fund raising through events such as Swimarathons, raising nearly £3,500 for the last Swimarathon.
Grow is always on the lookout for volunteers and donations, and they sell an impressive variety of plants and produce too, so why not pop along for a visit and stock up for your garden, and maybe lend a helping hand.