Wellington Place is more than just bricks and mortar, it’s a thriving community powered by people. This series of interviews aims to highlight some of the people of Wellington Place, share their inspirational stories and find out why Wellington Place is much more than just a place to work…
Interview with Constanta Dobroiu and Roxana Roman, from The Wates Group
Originally born in Romania, Constanta and Roxana both work as part of the cleaning team at The Wates Group, the construction company behind many of Wellington Place’s buildings. As avid gardeners, Constanta and Roxana regularly enjoy Wellington Place’s Urban Gardens, a collection of gardening plots available for Wellington Place occupiers to use.
Tell us a bit about your background and what you do…
C: “I’ve been living in Leeds for around 15 years now and have been working as a cleaner since 2009. I’ve been on the Wellington Place site for years, working at 5 Wellington Place, 7 & 8 and now 11 & 12 – it’s been great watching the community grow!
R: “I came to England in 2016, met Constanta soon after, and we instantly became good friends. I then joined the Wates team in 2017, whilst also working as a chef in a range of restaurants. Our responsibility is looking after the cabin that the site team works from. There are about 200 Wates staff on site, and we make sure everything from the canteen to the meeting rooms are maintained for them.”
Can you tell us about the Urban Gardens at Wellington Place and how you use them?
C: “When we started work on the 11 & 12 buildings, we spotted the Urban Gardens and as keen gardeners we were very intrigued! We got in touch with the estates team who said two allotments were still available and that we could use them.
R: “Last year, we planted everything from runner beans to sprouts and chillies, but this year, we’ve planted mostly strawberries and tomatoes. It’s an important component to Wellington Place as a sustainable office development, encouraging more people to get outdoors and grow their own food.”
What do you do with the fruit and vegetables that you grow?
C: “We love sharing our fruit and veg with people that visit the site. The other month, we had some children visit for a school trip, so we shared strawberries with them. They really enjoyed trying the fruit so fresh!
R: “We’re regularly giving out our vegetables to our co-workers too, they all get very excited about it! It’s lovely seeing people’s reaction to the produce and it really boosts their mood!”
How important are the Urban Gardens to you?
C: “Gardening brings back many happy memories of my home in Romania, so it’s great I can carry this on in England and share my passion with my new community. My mother actually sent me seeds for our tomatoes all the way from Romania to grow at the Urban Gardens, which is really special.
R: “It makes me so happy to see nature taking its beautiful course, without using any sort of chemicals to speed up the process. It keeps me busy, helps to relieve any stress the world throws at me and I like that some people become more inspired to grow their own fruit and vegetables. Our co-workers are always asking what we’re growing, and some have started growing their own too!”
Tell us something exciting that most people may not know about you?
C: “I used to be a singer back in Romania!”
R: “By trade, I’m actually a beautician and it was my first job in Romania. I still help my friends with things like eyebrows.”
What three words sum up Wellington Place to you?
R & C:
“Family – Wellington Place really does feel like a home to us, we’re one big family! Everyone helps, listens, and supports each other.
“Community – not only is the Wates team our community, but we are part of a wider Wellington Place community too. It’s great seeing lots of people out and about, enjoying themselves, whether that’s eating their lunch outside and enjoying the street food or an after-work drink.
“Fun – and on top of all of that, Wellington Place is fun! As a team, we always have a laugh, but get the job done too, and the Urban Gardens brings us so much joy. To have the allotments at your place of work, and to share that with your colleagues, is very rewarding.”
If you would like to tell your story, or wish to nominate someone to take part in the People of Wellington Place series please email email@example.com