Furzey Gardens is a beautiful, tranquil woodland garden nestled in the heart of the New Forest which is open to the public from March – October. As a volunteer gardener, you will join our fabulous team who help to maintain the gardens and ensure they always look their best! From pruning, planting and collecting seeds to repairing garden structures and building playhouses, the list of tasks in the garden is always varied, providing lots of opportunity for you to find something that best suits your time, skills and interests.
This role would ideally suit someone who enjoys being outside for long periods of time (and often in all weather!), is practical and has a passion for gardens and/ or a basic knowledge of gardening. Although part of our happy team, you may occasionally work alone and so the ability to use your own initiative and follow instruction where needed is essential. In return, we will ensure you are given the necessary support and training to carry out your role effectively to make sure volunteering experience is always positive one!
As with some of our other roles, when the gardens are open you may be approached by visitors who wish to ask questions about the garden or are looking for general gardening tips. We would welcome volunteers who enjoy engaging with the general public as it’s a great way to share your love of horticulture as well as helping to bring the story of Furzey Gardens alive!
In all our roles, we strongly encourage our volunteers to enthusiastically promote the work of Minstead Trust, of which Furzey Gardens plays a key role, and to embrace our vision of an all-inclusive society.
Volunteers have the opportunity to help in the gardens all year round, Monday – Friday between 10am and 4pm. We always try to remain as flexible as possible but would typically suggest a minimum of 2-3 hours per session. This role could be offered on a weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or ad-hoc basis.
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.
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.
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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