Each day over Volunteers Week, we will be featuring a different charity or other non-profit organisation that relies on the help of volunteers. In their words, you will hear what these organisations do and the difference volunteers make to them.

Today, we hear from Ninewells Community Garden. Read all about them below. If you would like to volunteer with Ninewells Community Garden, contact Mary on 07715 423097 or email mary.colvin059@gmail.com.

Tell us about your organisation/project (who do you help and in what way?)

Ninewells Community Garden is a third sector service located in the grounds of one of the largest teaching hospitals in Europe, and is open to everyone to enjoy, including patients, staff and the local community. We work with a wide range of volunteers and groups throughout the year to deliver therapeutic gardening activities for all ages and abilities and to provide a supportive environment where people as well as plants can flourish and grow. We work with individual volunteers, as well as groups of patients (Carseview acute psychiatric unit; amputees’ clinic, children and young people with type 1 diabetes (DOT.dig), young people’s unit (CAHMS)); children and young people (holiday kids’ club, local colleges and universities (group visits and placements), schools and nurseries); and local organisations (Wellbeing Works, Employment Support Service, Remploy and many more).

What difference do volunteers make to your organisation/project?

Volunteers are the lifeline of the work we do. Some keep the garden in order and enjoy planting and general gardening. Others help people with a health problem and work closely with them. Others help us to organise events and help with our communications. Others help us to make funding bids. Some volunteers help with children’s clubs. There are many ways to help make our garden a success. We have won many prizes as a result of the great work our volunteers do.

Tell us more about the volunteering roles you have.

We need people who are comfortable to mentor other people.
We need two Board members who have knowledge and skills in finance and fund raising.
We need people who like to keep policies updated or developed.
We need people who would like to use the greenspace to set up workshops or groups.
We need core volunteers who like to garden

Tell us why volunteering for your organisation/project would be of benefit to an individual.

Our volunteers tell us (we record formal evaluations) how good it makes them feel to work in the garden. They develop friendships. They get to know people and feel less isolated. It gives them a purpose. They learn new skills and gain confidence as a result. Some are doing their John Muir award as a result of their work in the garden.

If no-one volunteered, where would you be?

We would not exist as this is not something that gets NHS funding. We can not develop our full potential if we have not got volunteers.