Lewis Barlow: a gardening extraordinaire
Meet Lewis, a 27 year old gardening extraordinaire from Warrington who helped to transform a derelict piece of overgrown waste land into an award-winning community garden!
His passion and enthusiasm for the project have allowed not just plants and flowers to grow, but friendships, confidence and independence.
Lewis is now a volunteer at the community garden, with fourteen others, and come rain or shine, Lewis puts on his work boots and is out there weeding, planting, watering – you name it, Lewis is there to do it!
Lewis does all of this despite being non-verbal and having various learning and physical disabilities such as chromosomal disorders and mobility issues. Lewis’ achievements in the garden with his friends showcase what can be achieved by people living with a disability – all you need is hard work and team spirit.
A team effort
From bug hotels and bee houses to bird boxes and butterflies, Lewis and his friends have helped to build and grow everything in the garden from scratch.
What started as a lockdown project has now transformed into a hobby for life and Lewis has never been happier!
We stopped in for a chat with Sarah, Lewis’ PA and auntie to hear a bit more about his amazing achievements.
“We are all so proud of Lewis. He is always so excited to go to the garden and his enthusiasm is infectious. He can’t get out of the door quick enough! He is always directing me to the project on our way there in the car, so eager to just be there!”
“He is so passionate about the garden and has found a new sense of purpose. Lewis has played a major role in transforming a barren area into what is now a stunning green area that people in the local community want to come and see!”
Lewis and his green thumb
Since discovering his talent for gardening, Lewis has started working with Home Start Warrington, a local family support organisation, to show young families how to grow produce from seeds at home.
This is also a great opportunity for Lewis to show the world what people with disabilities can achieve!
Lewis also recently became involved with Together We Grow Warrington where they grew 200 poppies for the remembrance.
What does the Leaders’ List mean to Lewis?
Lewis is very excited to have won a place on the Learning Disability and Autism Leaders’ List! His certificate has pride of place on his windowsill and he is always taking people to go and see it when they come over!
Events like this are so important because people with disabilities put so much heart and soul into what they do and they need the recognition. They are valuable contributors to society and should be given the opportunity to thrive and discover their talents like Lewis.
“Lewis would like to say thanks to everyone at Dimensions for the award it’s a genuine honour as he’s really enjoyed making new friends working on the eco project and the fact that the team contribute so much to the community being rewarded for this on behalf of the everyone is brilliant everyone is really happy about the award.”