I recently heard the sad news that Grass Routes in Chesterfield was having to close its doors on one of their gardening projects and was invited over to collect equipment that we could make use of at our gardening project in Warrington.
On my way home and reflecting on my visit I felt compelled to share in this blog with everyone the Great Interactions I witnessed during my visit and how positive a person could remain, in order to not affect the people he was supporting.
On our arrival in Chesterfield, we were greeted by Gareth Davies a member of staff at Grass Routes who under the sad circumstances was upbeat and very helpful, making sure everything they had to offer would be put to good use and would be going to a good home.
Gareth is such a “natural” support worker who it was clear to see had a great relationship with everyone he supported. Everyone seemed to be drawn to him like a magnet asking him “Gareth is this going?” “Gareth what about this?” With so many voices coming at him from so many angles everyone was answered and was given the time they needed to make them feel as if they were the only person he was having a conversation with. The respect and admiration for Gareth coming from everyone he was supporting was recuperated in equal amounts back to each and every person that was there on this day.
Observing this quality of support in a group of six people was made even more special given the circumstances of our visit: it would have been quite easy to feel rather fed up at the prospect of the imminent closure, but Gareth made sure it was a fun and exciting, encouraging everyone to get involved.
Gareth asked if I wanted to follow him over to a lock up where there was more equipment for us to take and I heard a voice say “can I come too?” Gareth’s lovely response with a big smile was “I’m kind of guessing everyone will want to come?” and before you could blink the mini bus was full of people all clicking in their seat belts ready to set off and help us load up some more equipment.
On my return to Warrington, I contacted Gareth’s line manager asking if she had any photos of Gareth that I could use to go along with this write up; so you can see the two photos I received. On opening them, I smiled and thought ‘yep, these capture the warmth, trust and friendship Gareth has with everyone he supports so well – better than I could ever express in words’.
Head of Service
Lifelong Learning Warrington