Role Description:

During high season we need Welcome Hosts every day, and especially at weekends, welcoming visitors to our beautiful gardens.

Playing an important role, this voluntary position is all about engaging with our visitors; greeting them upon arrival and checking their booked entry tickets, talking to them about the gardens, informing them of any activities or events which may be on offer and sharing useful information to enhance their visit. Ultimately, the aim is to ensure their whole visitor experience is as welcoming and enjoyable as it can be!

During the summer months, we may also occasionally host early evening events such as small celebration receptions or open air theatre events, and we would welcome volunteers to welcome and direct guests on these occasions too.

Who are we looking for?

Friendly, cheerful and dynamic, you will be the first person our visitors meet so this role requires someone who really enjoys engaging with the general public, meeting new people and ideally has an interest in gardens and/ or gardening. Although part of our small, happy team you will often work alone so the ability to use your own initiative and follow instruction where needed is essential.

No previous experience is necessary as we will ensure you are given all the support and training required to make sure your volunteering experience is always positive one. All we ask for in return is reliability, the willingness to get involved and bags of enthusiasm!


During high season, Furzey Gardens is open every day from 10am until 5pm, including weekends. For volunteers helping first thing, we kindly ask that you arrive at 9:45am in order to ensure everything is ready to go when the gates open at 10am. Although we will always remain as flexible as possible, we would typically ask you to stay for a minimum of 2-3 hours per session. This role could be offered on a weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or ad-hoc basis.

About Minstead Trust:

Minstead Trust is a charity based in the New Forest and Portsmouth which offers a range of Supported Living, Residential Care, Day Opportunities, Community Programmes and Social Enterprises (including Furzey Gardens) to adults with learning disabilities. Supporting them, and their families, we provide opportunities which encourage the people we support to develop greater independence. We do this though improved health and well-being, the developing of life skills and increasing employability.

In all our roles, we strongly encourage our volunteers to enthusiastically promote the work of Minstead Trust, of which Furzey Gardens and the Tea Rooms play a key role, and to embrace our vision of an all-inclusive society.

About Furzey Gardens:

Today, Furzey Gardens is a haven of peace and tranquillity. Run as a social enterprise it is part of the Minstead Trust family which supports over 200 people with learning disabilities. Horticulture is known to offer real benefits through outdoor physical and therapeutic activity, providing important work and social skills and an opportunity for meaningful activity. Each week, Head Gardener Pete White leads a team of approximately 30 people with learning disabilities and 20 volunteers, who all work hard to maintain the Gardens and bring on plants in the nursery.

Read more about the Furzey Gardens story.

If you would like more information please contact Ruth Farrell, Volunteer co-ordinator:
07810 580872 / 023 8081 2297 (Main reception at Minstead Lodge)

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