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Posted by Sarah Brown on 22 Jul '13

Showing people can change - the power of nature and belief

This month I have come across inspirational examples of heroin addicts and ex-offenders who are being changed by opportunities to be in the natural world.

I was at a horticultural project, a social enterprise, the other day when someone turned up for work - it was 9.30am so no surprise.

However it was. The man wasn't supposed to be in that day, it was sunny the perfect day to take off and yet he had come in before the time he would have been due on a work day 'because he didn't want to stay at home, he wanted to come in and work'. The work included toiling in the sun looking after plants, picking produce for the veg boxes, mending broken machinery and general hard labour.

He was a volunteer, truly committed and had been coming some months and as we were told he is now even getting off the methodone having been a heroin addict. The power of productive work, the power of nature, the power of belonging, the power of belief that people can change and move on and not stay addicts for life. He was now defined by his work and contribution, had a new gang to be part of rather than being just seen as an addict.

A timely reminder that with the right mindset and support anyone can change and why working with social enterprises and charities is so inspirational.

If you want to understand the three fundamentals of change then give me a shout for my summary of the powerful book Switch by Chip and Dan Heath. It has inspired me to work even harder to ensure organisations thrive so that they can continue to support this change.

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Tags: inspiration socent charity