COVID 19 Update: Outdoor Garden space is open.
We are all facing an unprecedented period of difficulty and disruption caused by the current coronavirus crisis. As the situation develops we want you to know that we are here. This message on our website will be updated regularly over the coming months. We will provide up to date information with the intention of keeping our staff, our volunteers and our visitors safe.
Due to the current situation with the COVID 19 Coronavirus outbreak we have been advised that the Leaf Room, Toilet and Poly tunnel should remain closed at this time. This is to comply with government guidelines and ensure the safety of our Volunteers.
The garden is still open to visitors.
There are lots of ways to get involved with the garden. Firstly, please come and visit us! The garden is always open and there are lots of lovely spots to have a seat, eat some lunch or meet with friends while following government guidelines. We have herbal beds, sensory areas, orchard, poly-tunnel, wildlife area, fruit and vegetables – all surrounded by the beautiful arboretum. If you have never been before, we are just a short walk from Maggie’s – standing with your back to Maggie’s, you can just see the garden over to the right behind the trees.
The regular Winter Break for volunteering sessions is scheduled from the 14th of December 2020 until the 31st of January 2021, you can still get in touch with the Garden facilitators over the break, and the Garden remains open to visitors.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic volunteer sessions are on a rota basis. Please contact one of our Garden Facilitators to discuss being added to our waiting list.
Some volunteering is continuing with limited numbers in the garden at one time, no tool sharing, hand hygiene and physical distancing measures in place. We are not currently taking on new garden volunteers at this time, but you can get in contact to be placed on the waiting list, or can help out with home based volunteering oportunities.
As a volunteer-led project, volunteers are integral to the ethos, development and maintenance of the therapeutic garden. Volunteers of all walks of life are welcome to participate in this project. We do not expect new volunteers to be an expert, or even to have any previous gardening experience.
Garden volunteers can be involved with daily gardening tasks; delivering workshops and activities; designing new areas of garden development; planning and running events and welcoming visitors to the garden. We are always keen to build on volunteer’s interests, skills and experience and therefore encourage suggestions and ideas – if there is something you would like to be involved in, let us know!
As well as garden volunteers, we have developed a number of groups to support the development of the project. If you have interests or skills in any of the following areas, and would like to get involved, please get in touch: Garden development, Wildlife, Funding and Finance, Volunteer Development and Events and Promotion.
For more information, please take a look at our:
We welcome groups to the garden, either to participate in garden activities, or to enjoy the garden and woodland. We can host workshops for many ages and abilities; sessions can be ongoing or one-off and are completely free. Alternatively you may like to use the garden and/or leaf room for your own workshop or activity (outdoor skills, yoga, art etc).
We work with a number of organisations including the NHS, DAMH and Employment Support to run regular volunteer sessions and one-off workshops. We also work with schools and nurseries throughout the year, delivering activities in gardening (propagation, composting, vegetable growing etc), craft (mosaic, willow weaving, paper craft etc.) and wildlife (tree walks, bird watching, insect identification etc.). We can also host a tour of the garden – or come to you to give a talk about the work we do.
If you have a group that would like to visit the garden and/or take part in some garden activities, please get in touch.
Have a look at our calendar to see upcoming open workshops. Previous workshops have included drawing, mindfulness, yoga, dowsing, metal detecting, healthy eating, mosaic and many more!
We accept referrals (social prescribing) from GP’s, occupational therapists and other organisations. If you know someone who you think might benefit from therapeutic gardening, please get in touch. We can arrange for you to visit with your friend / relative / patient, before making any commitment. We can also provide relevant risk assessments and health and safety information.
We are keen to hear from people who have an interest in supporting volunteers who require extra assistance. Our Garden Mentors provide support and encouragement through working alongside those with physical or mental health problems. For more information, please see our Garden Mentor role information sheet:
Our own evaluations have shown that the vast majority of garden participants feel an improvement in the areas of health, physical activity, wellbeing and self-esteem. From our volunteers:
“Gets me out of the house and lets me learn new stuff. I enjoy being with my friends”
“It’s a good group, good camaraderie. I enjoy being part of a team.”
“Getting outdoors, in the fresh air, meeting other people. It’s helping me to lose weight for the first time in years”
“Great for de-stressing. Keeps me busy doing things, keeping occupied, takes my mind of the stresses of life.”