One Prior’s Court young adult is now really “mowing” somewhere in our on-site orchard.

Young person James, who – like all of the young people at Prior’s Court – has complex autism, was recently empowered to be able to use a ride-on lawnmower to increase the range of tasks he could complete in manging the orchard.

Prior’s Court Team Manager, George Konstantinidis, who was previously our Orchard Job Coach, empowered James by teaching him this new skill, believing in him to be ready for the new responsibilities.

To prepare James for this, George printed out the layout of the controls and wrote down a brief set of instructions for James to follow.

Initially, James will be mowing certain areas of the orchard and a strip of grass next to our Countryside Learning Centre, providing support to our Estates team.

George said: “James absolutely loves this additional task, getting to grips with both the driving side and the mowing side in a matter of weeks, though as he is still learning has yet to be given full control.

“James was very eager to learn how to use the lawnmower. He learned the driving part in two sessions and by the fourth session he mowed the grass corridor behind some of our houses. He now absolutely loves mowing, and it allows him to gain not only an additional skill, but also that little bit more independence that is so key for our young people.

“He has been doing incredibly well so far and I am so proud of him.”

James takes on this added task alongside work experience on our Reception and with our Marketing team.

Find out more about what young people at Prior's Court learn