The vineyard where I volunteer is a community vineyard. The vineyard project caters for people of all abilities and all walks of life. Occasionally we have people from the corporate sector who come for ‘team building’ exercises but more often than not we have various groups with learning difficulties that come up to help out with various tasks.
Recently up at the vineyard I lost my gardening gloves. I approached one of the team to ask if she would keep a look out for them. She had a team of men with her that all had varying degrees of disabilities and she asked them to let her know if they found Simone’s gloves whilst walking up and down the rows of vines. A short, dark, stocky man was most distraught to think that I had lost something and had to be reassured by my colleague that it was fine and not something to get upset about.
Glove less, I continued tending to the vines, tying the stems to the stakes and discarding leaves below the first wire. I soon forgot about the gloves as I methodically worked my way up and down the rows.
In the distance I could hear someone shouting my name ‘Simone, Simone!’ As I looked up a large, shadowy figure came running towards me. This huge man had a beaming smile as he approached with his arms outstretched and handed me my gloves. As I thanked him, I could sense his pride and joy at finding the ‘treasure’.
As he returned to join the group with a spring in his step, I wiped a tear from my eye before putting the gloves back on and returning to work.