As a child growing up, I used to spend lots of time with my grandparents, I have some wonderful memories of going to their house on a Saturday afternoon with my mum, and my grandad had a fruit garden. Grandad and I would spend lots of time over the summer months, in the fruit garden picking raspberries and other soft fruits, and we would also go to the local berry farms together, we would come back to their house after hours of picking fruit, and grandma would help us freeze them. She and mum would make jams and pies and we would have such great times together. But as I look back and reflect on those early years, I understand that it was so much more than just the fun of summertime and picking fruit in the fruit garden that I remember. These were the times when they invested in me, in my future and where I learnt so much about investing in others, and in the generations to come.
My grandfather Harry Whittaker was a pioneer in his generations, he knew that if we invested in the younger generations, they would be inspired to grow and to live their best lives, regardless of their start or background. He saw the God given potential in them to live a life of purpose, and my grandparents made it their lives work to help so many young people across the UK where they were based, and the legacy of this work still lives on today through ACUK and NAYC.
When I set up Wesley Jones Law, I knew I wanted to do be able to do business differently, so I could incorporate the ability to equip and empower others, to be the best that they could be and to provide them with a place and opportunity where they could grow into their life purpose and pursue their dreams. I had worked in the corporate Law world for over 15 years at that stage, with the opportunity to work on some incredible property projects across the globe, but I knew this was my chance to do things differently and so the Fruit garden was born.
The Fruit garden is the firms training and development initiative and it is part of our everyday focus and purpose, we are passionate about being able to help empower people to reach their full potential in life and to live a life of purpose. We want people to live full and fruitful lives. And so, we try to create an environment; where people be, they young or not so young, can be planted and have the opportunity to flourish.
To this end we provide internship positions as part of the Otago Polytechnic School of Business – Industry Project and Internship program for both under and postgraduate students; we provide on the job training for our team, and are always looking for ways to connect with others to help them achieve their dreams for the future. We have also partnered with YES! To Youth Employment, as we believe this organization comes inline with our vision for empowering and equipping young people in New Zealand. https://youthemployer.nz/
Since the fruit garden has been running we have had the pleasure of working with several people and it’s been a sheer delight to see them grow, to find their purpose, in some cases to rekindle their passion and rebuild their self-confidence, so that they can be able to live to their full potential.