Glen uses his green thumb for good
22nd July 2021
Pictured: Glen, the Horticulture Supervisor at HELP's Oxford Park Nursery
When your office looks more like a Pinterest board than a boardroom it's easy to see why Horticulture Supervisor Glen loves his job. But it's not just about the blue skies or the sunshine - it's about the people! Since 2009 Glen has worked at Oxford Park Nursery helping people with disability achieve their goals and pursue meaningful employment.
We were lucky enough to chat with Glen to learn more about the nursery and his long history with HELP.
How long have you worked at HELP's Oxford Park Nursery?
I’ve worked for HELP for 18 years and moved to Oxford Park Nursery in 2009. I started out as a Horticultural Trainer and am now the Horticultural Supervisor.
What does a day in the life of Glen look like?
It varies from day to day! I usually kick things off at 7am with a team huddle. On a typical day, you can find me doing everything from helping customers with orders, to spraying, pruning, and weeding – there’s no such thing as a weed-free nursery! Throughout the day I also spend time with our supported employees allocating and managing tasks.
What is the most rewarding part of the job?
Seeing people improve and be happy with what they achieve. For example, we have recently implemented a system where we use ribbons to segment different parts of the nursery into sections. This helps some of our supported employees stay focused on the task ahead and identify what areas require work. When one of our team members completed his section he could see how much he had achieved and was so proud! It might not seem like a big deal from the outside, but in reality, it’s a big step towards building confidence and self-esteem.
What are the benefits of working in a supported workplace like the Oxford Park Nursery?
Coming to work with us isn’t just about building skills and learning new things. It’s about having a sense of community too. We have a pretty tight-knit team here and it’s more relaxed than a traditional workplace. We chat and have a laugh, but we also know there’s work to be done. We noticed that during lockdown we still had team members busting to come to work – it’s a place where people actually want to be here (even if they have to socially distance and wear a face mask)! I think we challenge our team members to get outside of their comfort zone so they can improve and be more independent... and that’s when we have those breakthrough moments.
What’s your advice to anyone thinking about supported employment with HELP?
Give it a go! You don’t know until you try.
Want to find out more?