Action, Asian Specific Autism, Asperger syndrome, autism, Autism Queensland, Awareness, Beyond Blue, Charity and Inspiration, Depression and Anxiety, Gardening A difference, George Arkinstall, Good Souls, Hero, holistic, Homeless, Mental Health, Occupational Therapy, old moat garden centre Epsom, personal trainer, Philosophy, Psychology, social enterprise, Starsailor, supportive employment, Yoda
One of my favourite things about blogging is the twists and turns that it takes you on. You never know who you are going to meet and quite where you will end up. (Keeps life interesting)
Rarely do I meet a TRUE HERO. (Lets face it we live in a money orientated capitalist society with shallow values). I met George through my own personal interest in Autism and Mental Health. As a qualified occupational therapist who specialises in Autism I also have experience of working in Learning Disabilities, In-patient mental health, Community mental health, Forensic mental health, Paediatrics and Elderly care. I even wrote my dissertation at university on a similar enterprise to George’s that was taking autistic kids and kids with mental health problems out wild camping in America to teach them how to take responsibility for their own lives. George we must have been separated at birth!
The Man Himself
George Arkinstall is a 23 year old Brisbane entrepreneur. For the last 3 years he has been running his social enterprise Gardening A Difference that creates supportive employment for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and those facing Depression.
Raised in a family of 9 he is no stranger to people and has become quite the debater. He grew up energetic, loving and even at times mischievous however in his late teens George came face to face with depression and fell into a continuous flux of being taken in and out of mental health wards, at best he might make it to school but at worst would find himself suicidal. Finding his salvation in things like exercise, meditation and self progressive activities George has developed a keen interest in psychology and the way people tick.
Upon finishing school he started his career as a personal trainer in the hope to show others how creating better physiology within oneself is the first step in a process that leads to better outcomes in life. Through personal training George regathered his confidence and developed leadership skills.
In late 2016 he decided to start a gardening business to help his brother Harry who was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome in his early years. The business would help Harry to sustain meaningful work. George wanted the project to be more than just a gardening business rather something that made a real difference in the world, and showed others that if they wanted they could make a difference as well and so Gardening A Difference was born.
Gardening A Difference is a social enterprise that creates supportive employment for those facing depression and those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the garden. Foundered by George Arkinstall as a project to help his brother Harry who has ASD to find work that would support and understand him it has grown into much more. With founding pillars of Action, Awareness, Charity and Inspiration in line with our mission Gardening A Difference’s philosophy integrates these pillars to deliver our vision, that is, anyone can make a difference in the lives of others, leading by example, and having a go. It’s my belief that anyone can integrate these pillars with a skill they have to deliver their vision.
Supportive employment is provided to those with ASD and those facing depression.
Events are run within the community to support out goals, in 2017 George slept homeless for 30 days to gain insight into the lives of people on the spectrum on the streets.
Gardening A Difference social networks along side showing daily life and dedicated to education the follower about both ASD and Depression.
Gardening A Difference had donated to a number of charity, in its first year donating 20% of all revenue to Autism Queensland and Beyond Blue.
Charitable events such as yard makeover and organised to help people within the community that have encounter ASD or Depression ether 1sthand of within the family
At the core of Gardening A Difference is the idea the anyone can make a difference in the wold if they really wanted to. By using the core pillars in combination with any business and any purpose change is possible. (He is a modern day yoda!) Little by little, person by person, business by business, we want to start a chain reaction that will change the world.
George speaks at conferences and events most notably the Asian Pacific Autism Conference in 2017 talking about his business and spreading this message, enouncing others to stand up and take full dutiful responsibility not just for their futures, but our future. (What a guy!)
George as Starsailor say
“I turn to you and I say
Thank goodness for the good souls
That make life better.”
Give this guy an award! Stop giving them to mindless celebrities and rich people! (The world we live in today).
Much love (to George)