We are a small organisation and do not often offer paid work. But we are happy to help with enquiries: please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office on 020 7739 2965. And keep an eye on our twitter feed @StMarysGarden.
Volunteering with a community project can bring huge rewards. Our work tackles important issues like isolation and healthy lifestyles, making the garden a fulfilling place to volunteer. We do a very wide variety of things so there’s scope for everyone to contribute – our expert team support our volunteers so they can really make a difference.
You do not need to have any specific skills to volunteer, however an interest in gardening, supporting vulnerable people, DIY, office administration, fund raising or publicity would be of benefit.
Volunteer Roles at St Mary’s Secret Garden
Retired or coming up to retirement?
We are looking for older, skilled volunteers (over 59yrs) to help us in many aspects of our work. For example:
- could you be a trustees or fundraiser?
- can you fix a leaking tap or water butt?
- Do you know your sow’s thistle from your grannie’s bonnet?
- Would you like to meet new people and know you are going to make a positive change to people’s lives and the environment?
This opportunity is made available by a grant from Team London (https://www.london.gov.uk/whatwe-do/volunteering). Volunteering hours and days can be flexible to suit the individual but some roles require certain time commitments. Come and chat to Paula, Kate or Cathy on Mondays in the garden.
Click here to download a flyer and print it off to tell all your friends about this fabulous opportunity!
Over 40yrs old with a learning disability? Do you care or support someone over 40yrs old with a learning disability?
We are looking for older people with a learning disability to help us in our garden. Previous gardening experience would be useful.
Would you like to meet new people, be more active and know you are going to make a positive change to the environment?
This opportunity is made available by a grant from Team London.
Volunteering hours can be flexible to suit the individual but we are looking at Mondays for the volunteering sessions. Come and chat to Paula, Kate or Cathy on Mondays in the garden or contact the garden if you want to know more.
Click here to download a flyer and pass it to others you know who may be interested.
These volunteers work alongside horticultural therapists to support our clients to work in the garden. Volunteers would ideally be able to commit to a regular half-day or whole day a week. An ability to work with people with support needs and learning difficulties is an essential requirement for this role.
Supported Volunteer Work Team
Once a week, on a Wednesday afternoon, we run a supported volunteer work session for people who would like to work in the garden with others but need a bit of support and supervision. Volunteers would have an interest in working with others as a team and in working outdoors. There are a limited number of places available.
Advertising and promotional volunteer
St Mary’s is looking for someone creative to coordinate our advertising. Events include gardening courses, community outreach horticultural sessions, open squares weekend and a summer local resident’s event.
The volunteer would be responsible for:
- preparing marketing posters and flyers;
- increasing our advertising footprint by developing contacts and placing adverts with local press, shops, councils, client target groups such as care homes, hospitals etc.
Minimum time commitment would half a weekday per week. This role would suit someone creative, preferably someone living in the local area. This role could be done from home with regular visits to the garden for guidance and support. One year commitment preferred.
Other volunteering opportunities
We are always grateful for additional help, particularly from skilled volunteers who are happy to work with minimal supervision in areas such as office and administrative work, and fund-raising.
If you would like to help in any of these volunteer roles, please download our Volunteer Enrolment Form and return it to us at email@example.com. If you would like to discuss volunteering with us before completing an enrolment form, please call us on 0207 7392965 or pop into the garden for a chat.
If you are more interested in volunteering as a Corporate Group, follow this link for more details of opportunities and a return form to express your interest.
Some of our volunteers explain why they enjoy coming to St Mary’s Secret Garden:
I have been volunteering at St Mary’s Secret Garden since the summer of 2010. It is a joy to work in the happy, welcoming atmosphere in the garden which benefits clients and volunteers alike.
It has been a great opportunity for me to put into practice the knowledge I had already gained in gardening and social and therapeutic horticulture (via distance learning courses). I have learned so much since being at the garden and I hope that when I work with the clients they benefit from my guidance and support.
I enjoy all aspects of working at the garden. No matter what the weather brings, there is always something to do either in the garden or under cover in the greenhouse or the poly-tunnel. Indoor tasks can vary from packing seeds, making jams, chutneys and herbal bath bombs for sale and cleaning gardening boots – there is never a dull moment!
I am also using my creative talents to make items to sell to raise funds for the garden. My mini beasts and catnip mice, fish and cats are best sellers – well worth the effort and awful headache and itching nose I got being a hay fever sufferer!
In 2008, I was looking for a volunteering opportunity after a very difficult period in my life. Some years ago, I suffered with mental ill health and, though I was well when I came to the garden, the friendly support I got from the staff was a panacea to the low self-esteem and alienation I felt.
The therapeutic effect of gardening is strong and subtle and the community feeling at St Mary’s and the commitment to nurturing learning, has made me feel a valued member of society again. I have completed both a practical horticulture course in the garden and a Health and Social Care course at another college to increase my skills in working with the vast array of people who come to the garden for sustenance.
For nearly 8 years I’ve been working one morning a week in the garden doing odd jobs, weeding, plant care, etc. I heard about the garden from a friend when I was looking for voluntary work and I loved it . Partly, because I’ve always liked gardening and, partly, because I like the people – so it’s pure selfishness!