I went to the Faith Plant Centre (Faith Plant Centre, Palm House, Wolves Lane, Wood Green N22 5JD) – the one that together with local users we saved not that long ago when it was under threatened closure by withdrawal of funding.
There is a most remarkable jungle area, desert area and rain forest area – as well as a garden centre – which provides training and work for volunteers with a variety of disabilities.
They also run a restaurant and coffee shop – also staffed with volunteers with a range of disabilities. It is a truly fantastic place – where staff and volunteers all are incredibly friendly and committed to creating a warm and inclusive atmosphere.
About 50 volunteers come here to train and work in horticulture. This perfectly fits the bill of helping people to find routes to occupations for those who simply cannot work in the normal way. Additionally – local children come here to experience the different climate areas, to learn about some of the creatures that live in them too.
So – they put me to work with a rake, and myself, Merle and June raked all the leaves up from the front lawn. It was very enjoyable and a pleasure to see and meet lots of the volunteers – and get some fresh air and exercise.