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Good for the soul

Sole Landscapes has two work experience students from Kimi Ora School – a placement that is working out to be extremely beneficial for everyone involved!

Adam (17) and Jesse (18) are both at Kimi Ora School – a specialist school that caters for a diverse range of students, from five to 21 years old, who have complex special needs.

Part of the school’s approach to learning is to offer students work experience placements to develop their skills and confidence.

Sole Landscapes has welcomed Adam and Jesse into its team every Friday for the past 18 months for shifts of up to an hour and a half. In that a period, the duo has carried out landscaping jobs such as moving pavers, mixing concrete, leveling up posts, moving materials around site and assisting with tip runs.

Director Jono Sole, whose sister works with the students and proposed the idea to him, says that having them onsite has been an incredibly rewarding experience.

Everyone benefits

“The guys love having them around and hopefully the boys enjoy coming to work with us once a week too! It’s been encouraging to see how empathetic, patient and helpful the team has been with Adam and Jesse.

“I’d say the immediate reward has been to the benefit of our team culture.”

Adam Hughes, a Sole Landscapes project foreman with whom Adam and Jesse have spent the most time, says that he’s taken a lot from the experience.

“I’ve loved seeing them develop over the past year-and-a-half. It’s been incredibly rewarding for all of us.”

Building strength and confidence 

Jono needn’t worry about whether Adam and Jesse are enjoying themselves or not, says Kimi Ora teacher aide Roseanne Holmes.

“They both love working with the Sole crew. It has been amazing and sometimes Adam will run up the driveway to get to work – he’s that excited to get stuck in!”

As well as providing a sense of excitement at the end of a week, Roseanne says the work they do with Sole will have a lasting, positive impact.

“It’s really beneficial for their fine motor skills, provides a way for them to get some exercise and has helped improve their confidence, communication and people skills.”   

Roseanne hopes that the work experience will have benefits beyond what Adam and Jesse take away from it.

“A big part of why we love these placements is that it helps our students get into the community and boost their visibility. I think it’s great for the community to see people like these two as part of our society. They’re a huge part of life and we want everyone to embrace that.”  


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