Become a Volunteer Gardener and Mentor
Are you a passionate gardener? Do you have strong people skills and communication skills? Do you have experience of working with vulnerable individuals?
If so, we’d love to hear from you!
Volunteer gardeners and mentors attend gardening sessions on a regular basis, typically weekly or fortnightly, joining Grow for Life team members to help facilitate a gardening session for a small group of new gardeners. Sessions take place in designated gardening sites in or around Bath.
Volunteer gardeners and mentors help our new gardeners learn gardening skills as well as helping make them feel welcome, safe and part of the group. Typical gardening tasks that volunteers will assist with and will help our new gardeners to successfully perform include:
Vegetable and flower planting, maintenance and harvesting
General garden maintenance
Volunteer gardeners and mentors also have an important role in helping to facilitate conversations with the gardening group, as well as encouraging trainees and making them feel at ease.
Please note, to keep our new gardeners safe we have established volunteer selection and induction processes. All potential volunteers will be invited to meet a staff member for coffee as an initial starting point. All volunteers will be required to complete a DBS check and attend a volunteer induction and relevant training sessions.
Volunteers should be available on a regular basis. You do not need horticultural qualifications, but its helpful if you have some experience of maintaining a garden or allotment. What is more important is your love of people and spending the with our new Gardners.
Meet a Volunteer: Sue
Why did you choose to volunteer?
“I wanted to give something back. Then I heard Grow for Life give a talk and thought I might like to volunteer with them. I love gardening, and it seemed a recipe for success!"
What's it like volunteering with Grow for Life?
"I absolutely love it! I get a lot more from it than I thought I would. And it’s fun. The team are lovely. We’re all different ages and stages and from different walks of life.
It’s also made me more compassionate and aware of things people go through."
What would you say to someone considering signing up as a volunteer?
“Do it! You’ll get more from it than you think! And you’ll meet very interesting people."
Meet a Volunteer: Eleanor
What's the highlight of volunteering with Grow for Life?
"Meeting people, talking to them, watching them come out of themselves. Seeing people arrive a bit anxious and tense, and by the end of the session leave relaxed.
We all know gardening is therapeutic and works, but seeing that process in front of you is amazing. I love watching people grow in confidence and taking ownership of tasks and knowing that they’re being trusted.
I also love gardening and being outside and seeing things grow."
Why do you volunteer?
“It’s really transformative. You realise a project like this really makes a difference!
For example, one young man couldn’t talk at all in sessions when he first joined, but was so chatty by the end of his time with us and loved talking about his passion for plants. Grow for Life sessions were enough to build up his confidence to ace a job interview and he got the job. He really deserved it and it will transform his life.
Grow for Life is a stepping stone for people."