Clemency Farrington

Clemency Farrington on a Professional Work Placement (PWP) in Wellbeing and Communities at RHS Garden Bridgewater.

Clemency FarringtonMy love of wildlife, the outdoors and horticulture is ingrained in who I am. My background is in mental health nursing, where I was qualified for 15 years. When my son was born, it made me re-evaluate how I wanted to spend my time. I loved nursing but it was hugely stressful and I struggled to balance work and my home life. Covid then came along and whilst this was a highly anxious time for all, it provided some space for me to connect to a path that would then lead to a career change. 

I took a leap and completed an RHS level 2 qualification at Cheadle College and went on to volunteer at a plant nursery. I once again, experienced the beneficial effects of engaging with horticultural, and wanted more. I was very excited when the role of Professional Work Placement (PWP) in Wellbeing and Communities was advertised at the RHS Garden Bridgewater. A perfect blend of my skills and interests. Thankfully those interviewing me felt the same and I was offered the job. It was a massive leap to change careers but I felt that this was an opportunity not to be missed.

Being able to spend time in the garden is joyous. It is such a beautiful place to be. This has a huge beneficial impact on my own wellbeing. I’m enjoying being able to share this with members of the Wellbeing sessions and Community Grow groups. It is so wonderful to hear all the positive feedback that we get from groups and visitors.

Time outdoors has always been important to me so being able to spend the majority of my working week outside is fabulous. My physical health is benefiting and I am becoming fitter and stronger. A wider impact of being closer to the natural world has lead me connect more with my values. It is lovely to be surrounded by a team that have shared interests and outlook.

I am working with the wellbeing and community grow team, my knowledge in the area has expanded greatly. I have had the opportunity to access external training via Thrive and am putting this into practice with the groups that I am working with.

It is difficult to put into words the exact things I am learning. I think it would be easier to say that I am learning about a different approach to work and life that will stay with me forever.

The PWP was the perfect level for me to be able to consider a career change. It has opened the door for me to gain experience in an amazing setting. For this reason I would recommend the PWP for those who may be in a similar position to me. I have not regretted making the change.

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