We offer advice to individuals and their support or advice workers about volunteering at community gardens (and other similar projects). If you would like to be put in touch with a garden, have any questions about volunteering or want some advice about which project might be right for your client, please contact us.
Many projects have an open access policy and some are able to offer activities for people who have additional support needs, or specialist services (eg for people with mental health issues). We can give you information about this and are also happy to offer a face-to-face meeting / advice session for anyone with additional support needs.
Benefits of gardening
People often tell us that gardening and getting outdoors has improved their mental wellbeing and stress levels. Some say it helped them to lose weight or exercise more. Those involved at community gardens often enjoy the chance to meet new people and gain skills, or even try new foods. Find out more about benefits of gardening for health and wellbeing.
We give advice to people that want to try gardening as we are keen to help more people to benefit. Anyone can contact us directly, or health professionals and support workers can refer people to us for an advice session.
Most people get involved by volunteering at a community garden - there are over 70 different spaces in the city so there's something for everyone. Volunteer workdays take place all year round, during the week and at weekends, so volunteers can drop-in once or attend regularly. Gardens are open to people of all ages and levels of fitness, complete beginners and experienced growers.
All work is supervised and tasks could include clearing the ground in preparation for food growing, planting and seed sowing, weeding and hoeing, harvesting produce, building raised beds and shifting compost, general site maintenance or occasional help with events. Many gardens share their harvest with volunteers, or cook a shared meal on site during each workday.
Some specialist gardens offer more tailored services - such as support for people with additional needs or therapeutic activities for those with mental health issues. We can offer extra support and advice (eg accompanying for a first visit) to people with learning disabilities or those with experience of homelessness, mental health issues, abuse and addiction to help them get involved at community gardens.
Making a referral
If someone you are working with wants to get involved in any of the activities above, ask any questions or find out more, please complete our enquiry form below or contact Jo Glazebrook, Volunteer Coordinator, on or 01273 431716. Or watch a short news piece on Channel 5 about the referral scheme.
Posters are available upon request for anyone who wants to print them out and pass them on to clients. We also have an easy read version as well. Please contact Jo on the details above if you would like a copy.
We also send an email bulletin for health and other professionals every two months to share our latest service schedules and details of opportunities for your clients. Sign-up here