Braiden learns invaluable communication and teamwork skills at Newquay Community Orchards
When Braiden first connected with Game Changer, he was struggling to find a career he was interested in and found it hard to hold a conversation with others. After being bullied at school, Braiden was home schooled, which eventually led to Braiden being referred to Game Changer.
His navigator, Alex, recommended Braiden to the Newquay Community Orchard project, as this would give Braiden the opportunity to meet some new people and to see if he would be able to hone his skills in on something.
The Newquay Community Orchard is a space for people from any walk of life to come together and work, play, learn or rest. It currently has around 500 volunteers, and runs the whole year round, come rain or shine. Gemma Lewry, Education Officer at the Orchard said that she could see the difference in Braiden since he started volunteering. He’s now much more comfortable engaging in conversation with people, and has helped other volunteers feel more comfortable within the orchard.
Whilst at the Orchard, Braiden takes part in a range of activities from planting vegetables to maintaining the Polytunnel. Gemma said that hopefully he’ll be able to try his hand at woodwork soon. As part of his volunteering, he is also taught Maths and English in a specially allocated space at the Orchard. As well as this, there is also a food van, which uses ingredients grown at the Orchard.
By being able to explore lots of different tasks within the Orchard, this will help Braiden work out his skills and what he can pursue as a career. There is space at the Orchard to either work alone, or part of a team and to also focus on your own specific project from start to finish.
Braiden looks forward to his days at the Orchard, as it gives him “a reason to get out of the house” and to spend time with friends that he’s made through the programme.
Braiden is noticeably comfortable when giving a tour of the huge orchards, and able to show what he’s helped grow and build. Although Braiden sometimes struggles with the maths, Game Changer Navigator Alex encourages Braiden by linking it to his love of gaming, which has given him an incredible geographical knowledge.
Gemma is supporting Braiden whilst he decides what career he would like to pursue, and she explains that he often changes his mind, but the Newquay Community Orchards provides the space and time for Braiden to explore different options. It also teaches him teamwork and communication skills that he was struggling with whilst being home school.
Braiden says that he’s had a really positive experience with Game Changer, and really enjoys the time he spends at Newquay Community Orchards.