Heather Saunders here, Graduate Employment and Alumni Relations Officer for the College of Social Science. Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting and undertaking some voluntary work with Green Synergy in Lincoln.
For those of you who don’t know, Green Synergy is a community garden based up near Lincoln Hospital, which uses space for gardening and horticulture to support positive mental health and wellbeing.
They work with disadvantaged communities and with vulnerable people, including those living with mental health conditions, learning difficulties, physical disabilities, long-term health problems and unemployment.
Gardening is used to build skills for life, to help improve mental and physical health, and to educate people about the environment, food and farming.
On arrival I was met by the wonderfully friendly Ana, the volunteer coordinator, who allocated us our tasks for the morning. Ana has so much knowledge and was great at getting us all working together.
During the morning, whilst trimming plants in the poly-tunnel, moving chip bark to make a path and cutting back brambles, I had the privilege of talking with a number of the other volunteers and users of the gardens; this included people providing give-back days, people with mental health difficulties, people who were currently unemployed and learning skills for employment, and those volunteering just for the love of gardening and supporting others. The group was so friendly, welcoming and engaging; I would have happily stayed all day.
Over a very welcome hot drink, it became even clearer how this organisation meets it’s aims, as people sat together chatting about the work, sharing stories and generally being supportive to each other.
In such a short space of time I gained such an insight in to how such a space can help people with such differing needs, and I would highly recommend it as a place to volunteer.
Volunteering at Green Synergy will provide you with the following employability skills:
- communication skills
- time keeping
- the chance to understand the lives of others.
If you are interested in volunteering please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, a few more pictures of the beautiful space you would volunteer in: