Get to know…Wayne Collier
A professional gardener for 17 years, Wayne became Estates Team Leader at Connect in 2021.
Why did you choose to work at Connect Housing?
I always wanted to work in social housing and I think my ethics align with Connect’s. My nan used to live in social housing, and I want to make places really nice for residents when they look out their windows.
How did you get into gardening?
My dad was in the army for seven years. It was a really stressful job, but when he was home we pottered round the garden together. I’ve never been an indoors person, it always felt better to be outside. I love plants and nature – being connected with the real world and the seasons. It’s full on but it’s something I’ll never tire of.
What projects are you working on now?
We’re totally revamping the allotment at Newall Close, in Otley. We’re remaking 18 plant beds, a new potting shed, and planting an orchard dedicated to the Queen’s Jubilee. It’ll have cherry, apple, pear and plum trees – something to eat in he Autumn!
At Hawthorn Mill we’re putting in a new seating area and plants like clematis, honeysuckle and hydrangeas. We’re also putting in new raised beds in Todmorden.
What’s the best part of your job?
I like to have the ability to improve people’s lives through introducing them to plants and nature. I think that’s the best way of improving wellbeing. Even if it’s growing something small, you plant it, look after it and get the benefits at the end. I don’t think you can put a price on that. Working for Connect gives me that opportunity.
Thank you so much to all of you from Connect coming out and spending such a good long time with us. I know the allotment group here at Newall Close really appreciate the efforts that are being made to help us have a well-designed and really productive allotment. I think with the advice from Wayne and the gardening team’s help we feel much more positive about our growing season.
Carol Dowdeswell, Newall Close resident