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Christian's story

Christian volunteers for Groundwork East on their ‘Sprouting Out’ programme that helps homeless people across Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire by teaching them how grow their own fruit and vegetables and other life skills such as cooking and budgeting in order to boost their confidence and increase their chances of employment.

“I’ve been around gardens my whole life. My first gardening job was for a local council where I stayed for twenty years before I was made redundant. I then moved from London to Luton which was when I started volunteering with Groundwork two years ago.

“The projects we work on are really interesting – everyone enjoys themselves. I’ve worked on local churches and farms where we’ve created walking paths and improved the gardens. It’s great to see a project from the start to the finish.

“The site were are working on today was covered in old mattresses and general rubbish so to see what it looks like now is a really satisfying feeling as we get it ready to start growing fruits, vegetables and herbs, all of which local restaurants can use.

“I’m currently working towards my City & Guilds Level one in Horticulture. Once I’ve achieved that I’m hoping to get full time employment in gardening, whether that’s landscaping or simply making a garden look great again.

"I love all aspects of gardening - there’s nothing better than being outside and seeing the results of hard work.”