Adam is one of two gardeners for New Leaf, looking after the grounds at BCHA’s housing properties.
“Ten years ago I was working in Bournemouth as a sales manager and my partner Andy (now my husband) and I decided on a complete lifestyle change – we moved to mid-Wales to give smallholding a go.
“We found a house with a big garden which we turned into a smallholding with pigs, chickens, bees and polytunnels. That’s when I really got into growing things.
“Eventually we set up a shop and café in an old empty shop right in the centre of the village. It became a real hub. It’s in an area of Wales where the main industry was mining and there are a lot of empty houses.
“We became a central point for the village and that got me really interested in the idea of community – everyone looking out for each other. There was a lot of social housing and elderly residents.
“We ran our business for a few years and it was very successful and busy and took up a lot of our time. We sold the shop to a lovely couple who are still running it now and I’m pleased to say it is still serving the community in the same way.
“Then it was time for another life change – we travelled for a year and then moved back to Bournemouth, mainly for the weather! But also it was lovely to come home after ten years away.
“When we moved back I took stock and decided there were two things I needed from a job – to work outside, and to do something which was beneficial to the wider community.
“That’s when I stumbled upon the BCHA gardener job and I knew it was my perfect role.
“There are two gardeners and we look after half the properties each on a two-week rota. I absolutely love it.”
“It’s fantastic, I really feel like I’m making a difference – plus I get my weekends and evenings off to enjoy living near the beach.
“I like working on my own and I’m enjoying getting on top of the gardens I look after. And I’m also getting to know the residents and staff and spend time chatting to them.
“It’s all exactly what I wanted to do.
“One day I’d like to become involved more in BCHA’s work – I feel like I’m well prepared to offer more because of my past experiences – but that’s in the future.
“For now I have a clear job to do with the gardens and looking ahead to how I want them to be this time next year – I’m really excited.”