Support volunteer

Support volunteer

Long term role · 3–4 hrs/Week
Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, England, United Kingdom
GardeningAssistanceSupport workOutdoors
WellbeingPeople with disabilities
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Growing People
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Support Volunteers support our Gardeners - who all have mental health challenges - with gardening tasks, and to feel like part of the group.

Detailed description

As a Support Volunteer, you would work under the guidance of a trained Horticultural Therapist to help the Gardeners carry out a wide range of garden activities.

At the moment we are looking for volunteers to support a new group starting soon on Wednesday afternoons and one volunteer who can join our established group on Tuesday mornings.

All our Gardeners are individuals with different skills and support needs. At Growing People we help them with the activities that are carefully matched to help them in their mental health recovery journeys.

Some have their own plots and choose what they want to grow, plant the seeds, then grow and harvest the plants. Others help to maintain the site through different seasonal tasks. You may therefore be supporting an individual or working with a group of people, depending on what is required at the time. The Horticultural Therapist will make sure you know what you need to in order to best support people and carry out the tasks.

You will also be an important part of promoting the friendly, welcoming atmosphere of the gardening sessions, which includes joining the Gardeners and the rest of the volunteers at all-important coffee breaks! This is when we relax together for tea/coffee and to chill out and chat, and is important for building social bonds and helping everyone to feel comfortable in the group environment.

You don't have to have a huge amount of gardening skills but you do need to have an interest and to enjoy being outdoors, even if it's cold and damp! You'll need to demonstrate empathy, have good listening skills, be reliable and prepared to get involved with general tasks, including clearing up after sessions and making tea.

Growing People will provide you with an induction programme and training and you will be supported by the Horticultural Therapist who runs your session, as well as the team you are a part of. If you may need support yourself to carry out the role, we will discuss this with you and consider how this can be offered.

As a Support Volunteer you will have the satisfaction of knowing you are helping to make a positive difference to people's lives. But you will enjoy benefits yourself too; it is well known that being outdoors in a garden - and ours is particularly peaceful - and the physical activities involved in gardening are beneficial for your health. You will get to know a diverse group of people with a shared interest in gardening. As well as this, you are likely to develop your own skills and perhaps share some of your own with the group.

Many of the skills you will demonstrate and learn - teamwork, reliability, communication and practical skills, for example, are useful if you are looking for work or want to make progress in your current employment.

Above all, being a support volunteer provides you with an experience which makes a positive difference to other people's lives and enhances your own.

What volunteers need😇 Disclosure and Barring Service

Getting there

Growing People is situated in the grounds of the Sadie Centre
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About Growing People

Growing People is a mental health charity based in Letchworth Garden City. Our qualified team provide a range of social and therapeutic horticultural therapies to contribute to the wellbeing and recovery to Hertfordshire residents.