22 March 2019

Green-fingered volunteers needed to run gardening workshops

Are you a keen gardener with a little extra time on your hands? If so, your skills and know-how could make a difference to an exciting new project that will share the joys of gardening with local people living with cancer and other life-limiting conditions.

 grove house garden shed

Green-fingered volunteers are needed for the horticultural project that is taking shape at Grove House in St Albans. A brand new specially-adapted greenhouse complete with wheelchair access and low-level benches is the hub of the project, which will be launched officially by Rennie Grove in June.

Weekly planting and propagation workshops are planned, where patients of all ages will get together to plant seeds, cuttings and bulbs, pot up containers and nurture plants and flowers. The friendly, relaxed nature of the workshops means that participants will have a chance to boost their physical and emotional well-being while getting together with others in Grove House’s delightful gardens.

“Horticultural workshops respond directly to the needs of an increasing number of local patients,” said Rennie Grove’s Senior Occupational Therapist Julie Hill, who is leading the project.

“They enhance wellbeing, improve mobility, assist recovery from treatment and operations and enable social support. The project is a significant addition to the range of nursing, complementary therapies and support services we already provide at Grove House, and will make a practical difference to the lives of patients and their families.”

Funding for the £15,000 project is thanks to a generous grant from The Rank Foundation through Hospice UK. The project includes training for volunteers to work with coordinators to plan and run the horticultural workshops.

The role is perfect if you have gardening skills that you would like to share with people who are coping with medical treatment, social isolation, anxiety and other challenges associated with a life-limiting illness. Your gardening skills needn’t be advanced and while experience of working with people in a therapeutic context would be a bonus it is by no means essential.

The help and guidance given by volunteers will enable patients to be as hands-on as possible. The plants and flowers they produce will be on sale at reception in Grove House to raise funds for the project’s compost supplies, gravel, pots, seeds and bulbs for the following year. They will also be on display when Grove House’s garden is opened to the public in the summer as part of the prestigious National Gardens Scheme.

To learn more about taking part in this project please contact Fenella Campa on 01727 731000 or email volunteer@renniegrove.org.