The Autistic Gardener
Antony; (Far right) whos special interest is engines, talks through the controls.
The Sanctuary Retreat Holiday Park and Autism Sussex teamed up for a gardening event in July, In support of young adults with Autism.
This well timed event happened to coinside with the the hugely popular new series on Channel 4 called, 'The Autistic Gardener.' where Alan Gardener and his team of on-the-spectrum gardeners did a great job creating a brilliant garden in a show that neatly demonstrated the pluses and minuses of their condition.
The event, that ran at The Sanctuary Retreat over a period of four hours, was an exchange of skills and practical experiences and culminated in a BBQ & Picnic for all those who attended
Adam shows some of the visitors the skills of operating the machinery.
The visiting guests from Autism Sussex, also got to view the spacious accommodation at the retreat, which not only caters to regular holiday makers, but is also a sanctuary for Carers in need of respite and for those with Autism, who can sometimes find regular Holiday Parks too overwhelming.
Maggie, the owner of The Sanctuary Retreat Holiday Park, and late diagnosed adult herself with Autistic traits said, "This event has been a great success and truly inspirational for all who attended. This project reflects my belief that adults with Autism have a lot to offer and we need to look more at the skills they have and afford them the opotunities to showcase them and use them in the workplace."
"We have a number of other project ideas in mind for the future and look forward to working with Autism Sussex again. It's projects like these that enrich lives and can often give individuals the skills needed for a place in the working world. My aim for the future is to be able to provide employment opotunities in my own business for others on the spectrum, because I recognise the value in what it is to be able to contribute."
Cecile Roberts, Manager and co-ordinatior at Autism Sussex at the Robuck Centre, Hastings said, "A wonderful Day! An excellent opportunity for our gardening group- Maggie, Trevor and the boys are excellent hosts. Every care was taken to risk assess, encourage and collaberate. As Maggie and her family have an in-depth and personal understanding of Autism, this setting allows families, groups and individuals the opotunity to spend time at The Sanctuary Retreat, safe in the knowledge that this environment offers a secure and sympathetic place free from judgement-a place to just be."
If you would like to holiday at The Sanctuary Retreat then you can find out more at www.thesanctuaryretreat.co.uk or
Additionally, to see what Autism Sussex has to offer visit www.autismsussex.org.uk
Some of the participants proved to be true naturals
Aaron; (bottom photo, Far right) whos special interest is World History & Photography, photographed the days event for TSR & Autism Sussex.
At the Sanctuary Retreat with just some of the participants from Autism Sussex who enjoyed the work experience day