Kevin’s Story – The Pines

May 3, 2017

Kevin an individual we support, at The Pines near Bury St Edmunds, was delighted to be involved in a recent visit by his local MP, Jo Churchill, sharing more about the social enterprise company for whom he works. Mrs Churchill, a known advocate for disability employment was shown around the business and met the team to talk about their work.

Kevin works three days a week at Nowton Park Nursery, which is run by social enterprise company Realise Futures. The social enterprise provides jobs and therapy through horticulture at the nursery for adults with disabilities or adults that have been disadvantaged in some way.

Kevin is part of a 30 strong team involved in jobs such as sowing seeds, watering, digging, weeding, pruning, planting and harvesting as well as serving customers. He enjoys taking responsibility for various tasks and thrives in the company of others whilst helping to provide beautiful spaces for people to enjoy.

He has worked at Nowton Park Nursery for over 10 years and over time has increased his independence and now travels to and from his voluntary role by public transport on his own. The Pines support team have provided a mobile for Kevin to keep with him, and have shown him how to access the pre-installed numbers of key contacts, should he need to call anyone for guidance, a lift or in an emergency. Kevin calls the team at Realise Futures when he arrives at the nearest bus stop and they collect him by mini bus to complete the last part of his journey.

In addition to working three days a week at the nursery, Kevin who loves to help people, also spends time at a local garage in a voluntary capacity one day a week. He enjoys socialising with the team and meeting the customers whilst cleaning both sides of the building.

With a passion for keeping active he manages to fit in a swim at a local pool, once a week. He also takes great pride in keeping The Pines organised with their rubbish collections and maintaining the garden. Seeking help from fellow housemates to make sure the rubbish is stored neatly, Kevin ensures all the bins large and small are placed out in time for the weekly collections.

Once his working week is complete Kevin gets straight into cleaning his flat and heading out with support over the weekend to do his weekly shop. Kevin lives with Cerebal Palsy and so getting help with his weekly shop and getting it back home easily is key to enabling his independent lifestyle.

Once Kevin has completed his essentials over the weekend, he then enjoys spending time with friends, visiting them locally with his travel supported by the team.