Richard – known as Rick – gets support from LDN London. He says that having a job means he has the freedom to do things he loves.
Rick has a learning disability, but it doesn’t stop him from working full time as a caretaker at Haverstock School in Kentish Town. He has worked there for 28 years and is getting near to retirement.
As a caretaker he fixes the lights, delivers parcels, picks up litter, maintains the grounds and lots more.
He says that his favourite part of the job is “seeing different faces every year”. The school has more than 1000 students.
Rick loves that he spends a lot of time outside in his role. He says that he has a very active mind and a busy job keeps him calm. He also likes the fresh air. The job also keeps him fit, and stops him from getting a large belly, he adds.
After he finished school in the 1970s, Rick went to gardening college. His first job was as a green keeper for a bowls club in London. “The grass had to be as flat as a table.”
He first became interested in gardening because his mum had a garden, an acre in size, when he was growing up. It was Rick’s job to mow the lawn. At that time he didn’t always enjoy it, he says!
Rick spends the money he earns on things he loves. “It gives me freedom to go on trips and things I want to do.” He enjoys going to Portsmouth and likes the naval base there – he fully recommends visiting. In his spare time he also makes pottery, takes photographs, and visits his three sisters.
The rest of the team at Haverstock School enjoy working with Rick. Daniel Cunningham, a fellow caretaker, said that Rick is great to work with and loved by all the team. “He is a really hard worker and helps out with lots of tasks, keeping the grounds clean. Rick is a very positive person and loved by all the children and all the teachers at the school.“
Daniel added that as well as being a hard worker and capable, “Rick helps the children understand that we are all different”.