From left, Isle of Wight gardener Joe Bartlett, mentor Jerome Read and SCATS store manager Simon Ash. Picture by Peter Boam.
BUSINESS A FORMER alcoholic has been motivated to keep his life on track after helping a friend set up his own business.
In 2008, Jerome Read, 40, of Newport, decided to put a stop to his drinking problem and depressive behaviour.
He wanted to become self-employed, so he enrolled in a BTEC Level 3 horticulture course at the Isle of Wight College to fulfil his ambition.
After graduating with a double distinction, Jerome set up his own business on the Island, Time to Grow, which provides garden maintenance and tree and shrub work.
When his friend, Joe Bartlett, 25, of Lower Woodside Road, Wootton, lost his job as a shop assistant last year, Jerome decided to help him set up his own horticultural business.
For three weeks, Jerome, who was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder, taught Joe the principles of being self-employed. Through his good deed, he has been encouraged to change his own attitude to life.
Jerome said: "Helping Joe has really motivated me. It gave me something to do during the winter and I am out of that really low place."
Joe now runs his own lawn mowing business, J. B. Lawns.
He said: "Jerome really has been an excellent mentor. What he has done is great and I am really grateful for all his work."
Scats, of Blackwater Road, Newport, provided Joe with £200-worth of equipment for free. Manager Simon Ash said he was encouraged to help because it meant a young person could get started in business and find employment.
J. B. Lawns is based mostly on the east side of the Island and provides special rates for the elderly and those on benefits. For further information, contact Joe on 07817 983599.
Jerome is now hoping to continue his mentoring by creating Small Acorns, another horticultural group for those suffering from depression, manic depression and alcoholism.