Gardening A Difference is more than just a gardening company. We’ve taken something we’re good at, and we’re using it to make a difference in something that we’d like to change.
This is our Story.
We want to show that anyone can have a go at making a difference. Check out what we’re all about, why we do what we do, and how we’re doing it.
Gardening A Difference was first created with a single purpose. From 2010, when Harry Arkinstall finished school, until 2016, he struggled to find work. And when he did, it was often short-lived and all too often a negative experience. Harry had been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as a child. For Harry and his family, he had always been the same unique individual, but when he ventured into the workforce, it became a different world entirely. His quirks that made him special seemed like challenges, and his unique way of doing things appeared as obstacles to potential employers. It was in 2016 that George set out to change this for Harry. He had a vision of creating a small weekend business to help Harry gain work experience. Harry's discovery of the therapeutic benefits of gardening ignited a profound transformation within him, sparking newfound self-worth and becoming the catalyst for the birth of a new vision for Gardening A Difference. Over the years, our team has expanded to include ten dedicated individuals, and we've had the privilege of employing over 30 participants in our program since 2016.
Gardening A Difference proudly operates an entire fleet of electric equipment, all powered by a solar system installed on top of our work vehicle. This eco-friendly approach not only allows us to be greener while we work but also lowers noise levels for individuals with noise sensitivities. We would like to expand this to an electric vehicle and eventually become a carbon-neutral organization.
The Four Pillars
Gardening A Difference stands on four pillars: Charity, Education, Action, and Inspiration. It is through the utilization of these pillars that we have been able to create a sustainable business model that independently makes a difference in the lives of the individuals we aim to help.
We believe that in giving generously, people hold a transformative power with rippling effects that although sometimes seen, are often most profoundly effective in ways that go unseen. At the core of a flourishing community lies the spirit of charity, a wiliness to recognize ourselves within others, a deep empathy, a firm belief that our own prosperity is intricately linked to the well-being of our community members. Gardening A Difference proactively seeks out avenues to donate our services to meaningful and deserving causes.
Gardening A Difference aims to combat the prevalent job market prejudice against individuals on the autism spectrum. This prejudice often stems from a lack of understanding about autism and how to effectively interact and collaborate with individuals on the spectrum. To address this issue, we're on a mission to educate people about autism, hoping to foster greater understanding of the differences between neurotypical and neurodivergent individuals.
We believe that real action is the catalyst for real change. We take concrete steps to create employment opportunities, boost the confidence of our staff, and establish pathways for a brighter future. Our commitment to taking action is reflected in the opportunities we provide and the ongoing support we offer our team members.
Recognizing the limitations of one individual, George aims to inspire others to go out and make a difference in the world. His belief is that by choosing something one is skilled at and utilizing it to create change in an area one is passionate about, anyone can contribute to meaningful change.
These pillars are not exclusive to Gardening a Difference; they serve as a blueprint for any business or individual seeking to make a positive impact. Through charity, education, action, and inspiration, we, although small, aim to inspire the aspiration of a worthwhile journey towards a society where citizens take hold of responsibilities that although not initially theirs to shoulder, can no longer remain unattended.