Presented by SWISCo SWISCo

What is it like to be a SWISCo gardener in Torbay?

We spoke to Charles Hopton about his role as a gardener, exciting projects he’s working on and the team culture at SWISCo.

Charles Hopton, gardener, SWISCo

As one of the largest employers in Torbay, serving Brixham, Paignton and Torquay in South Devon, SWISCo is looking for people who are forward-thinking, adaptable with a clear customer-oriented focus and act with integrity.

Charles Hopton is employed by SWISCo as a gardener with responsibility for four garden areas in Babbacombe, Torbay. We spoke to him for insider insight into his role and the team culture.

The best things I love about my role are…the areas I work in are close to where I live, which gives me the added incentive of knowing I can make a real difference to locals’ and visitors’ appreciation of this beautiful part of Devon. I enjoy working in my “offices” outside with plants, stunning views out to sea and being close to and part of nature.

Apply for a gardening role at SWISCo

The team culture is…very positive with a can-do attitude. As employees, we are encouraged and trained in the skills necessary to multitask across different fields of importance, as needed. Morale is high and my colleagues are friendly and skilled.

An exciting project I’m working on is…probably also the most demanding, which is to bring up to a high standard the planting and open area in Babbacombe Downs - a well-frequented and very popular tourist attraction comprising a theatre, cafes, hotels and restaurants. It involves tidying up shrub borders and seasonal beds, beds of urban flowers, and grass areas for picnicking and dog-walking. Although it’s time consuming, the visible results are hugely exciting and rewarding.

Pictured above: Babbacombe Downs, Torquay, Devon

My biggest challenge at the moment is…balancing achieving the best results I possibly can within limited timeframes..

The kind of people who would thrive in my team are…people who love and understand plants, possess a sense of ownership and pride in their work and are willing to work towards making these areas so beautiful that other people can’t help but appreciate the effort and results. Being able to communicate well with the public, working hard and having a sense of humour are also useful traits.

SWISCo is a great employer because…employees are valued and always encouraged to do their best. We have good training opportunities and the enthusiasm of the team helps create a successful and positive working environment.

SWISCo is currently recruiting a senior tree officer and lead hand parks and grounds. Find out more and apply here.

About SWISCo

SWISCo (South West Integrated Services Company) Limited is Torbay Council's wholly-owned arms-length company responsible for the delivery of all functions associated with:

  • Waste and recycling
  • Highways, fleet and transport
  • Parks, streetscene and green infrastructure

The company also carries out work for other public and private organisations to provide added value and improve the cost effectiveness of universal services provided to all residents on behalf of the council.

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