Simon Land is up at the same time as the birds in the gardens he works in. 5.45am is the norm for him, as he likes to have time in the mornings to get on with emails, quotes and invoicing for his business, before leaving his house in Lopen by 7.45am. A one-man band, Simon set up Simon Land Gardens a few years ago after leaving the post of head gardener at Cricket St. Thomas. He now redesigns gardens as well as maintaining a number of them, many of which are open to the public each year. Very much at home in the outdoors, Simon enjoys the peace and quiet of his work and is content to work by himself.
After a day outside, Simon will often return home to carry on with some more paperwork. Then, not one to sit still for long, he might make it out to the local pub with friends, play some squash or a game of five a side football. But there is also a large part of Simon’s life that takes up a significant amount of his spare time, which he finds most rewarding of all. A volunteer with the local branch of Yeovil & Sherborne Samaritans, Simon is Head of Training. As well as helping initiate the new volunteers he also does a weekly shift ‘on the phones’. So, someone in need calling the Samaritans from anywhere in the UK, could have Simon answer the phone, ready to speak to them. He is there to listen, to support and hear whatever the caller wants to talk about. Finding it a positive thing to be able to do, Simon enjoys being able to make a difference. And he’s made numerous friends in the other volunteers at the branch, providing a welcome balance to his solitary workday.
Christmas Day is the one day each year that Simon does a double shift, one of many volunteering their time to be there for others. However, come the New Year, each year, Simon takes a break from it all and ventures up to Scotland, a place he loves for being so natural, rugged and rural. There, he will relax, do some walking, light a fire and listen to podcasts. He may even treat himself to a lie-in, 6.30am should do it.