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Growing strong: our candidates are blossoming at Wakehurst

February 14, 2024 Posted in: News

Our new partnership with Wakehurst Kew Gardens has offered our candidates all sorts of fantastic opportunities to flourish. With the help of our innovative training programmes, the collaboration between Team Domenica and Wakehurst is helping create futures for people with learning disabilities. In this employer spotlight, we take a deep dive into what our candidates have been up to at Wakehurst over the past few weeks.

Annie’s journey so far

After completing a two-week trial in December, Annie has now started her supported internship in the Stables Kitchen. This role is a part of the Greysons team at Wakehurst. From stocking shelves to flexing her barista skills, Annie has be learning ropes with the help of her Job Coach and colleagues.

Overall, Annie has been loving her time in the Stables Kitchen. The teams at Wakehurst and Graysons have welcomed her with open arms, and she is already making huge strides in her employment journey. She says: “Wakehurst is fun. I like working there and I am learning lots.”

Two photos of Annie on her supported internship at Wakehurst

Lauren’s work experience success

Throughout the first term of 2024, first-year candidate Lauren completed a seven-week placement in Wakehurst’s Visitor Experience and Horticulture team. We caught up with Lauren during her work experience to see how she was getting on. It’s safe to say she was loving it!

What have you been learning on your placement?

“I have been learning how to restock shelves, how to greet visitors and scan their membership cards, how to use the till, and how to price items manually. I set myself targets each week – it’s good to have a goal to achieve and it motivates me”

What has been the best thing about the placement so far?

“Learning how to price the items because it’s a new skill and it’s made me think I might want to go into retail in the future!”

What do you want to do for a job in the future?

“Ooh I don’t know, it’s all up in the air! This is why these work placements are good as they will help me figure out where to find my feet!”

What the Wakehurst staff have been like?

“They have been so lovely and welcoming and so easy to talk to.”

Two photos of Lauren at her work placement at Wakehurst

Co-designing an accessible Wakehurst

As part of our Enrichment provision, our candidates were invited to Wakehurst’s inaugural ‘CommUnity Co-Design Workshop’. This meetup allowed our young people to offer their insights and help shape Wakehurst’s services for the #LearningDisabilities community.

Walking through the serene site, our candidates delved into the sensory garden and connected with nature through mindfulness exercises. We then finished the day with a creative session at the Millennium Seed Bank. Here, our young people reflected on their experience and used art to envision their perfect day.

This session was a wonderful day and truly encapsulated the relationship we have built with Wakehurst. It demonstrates their commitment to our vision of a more inclusive future where all people with learning disabilities are valued in the workplace, thrive in life and feel included as members of society.

Harri, the Participation Manager at Wakehurst says:

We’re proud to be partnered with Team Domenica and delighted that Wakehurst is able to support such a brilliant initiative. The CommUnity Co-design day helped us to develop a fantastic nature based well-being offer, aimed at adults with learning disabilities. Keep an eye on our website as we will be launching it this summer!

Two photos from Team Domenica's visit to Wakehurst


The logo for Wakehurst

Thank you to the wonderful team at Wakehurst for making these experiences possible. We’re so proud of our candidates and what they are achieving with your help.

With wild botanic gardens and over 500 acres of diverse landscapes from across the globe, discover your perfect day at Wakehurst here. There is a group annual membership for charities and community groups that provide services directly to people who face physical, sensory, psychological, or social barriers. Find out more by following this link.

Partnerships that help our candidates flourish

At Team Domenica, we pride ourselves on building employer partnerships that are mutually-beneficial for candidates and employers alike. In fact, 100% of our partners say that working with our young people has benefitted their business. Meanwhile, the work experience they provide offers the chance for our candidates to learn what roles inspire them, whilst also developing their learning.

If you’re interested in working with us, and want to discover the benefits of working with young people with learning disabilities, get in touch with the employment team at

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Dive in and make a difference at Great Lengths 2024!

Are you looking for a way to challenge yourself and support young people with learning disabilities? With distances from 50m – 5km, and the opportunity to swim as an individual or team, why not go to Great Lengths this September?