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Volunteers bloom as they help others

A dedicated team of green-fingered volunteers in Goole are turning lives around not only for the community they are assisting, but taking themselves on a satisfying journey of self-discovery and development as they work.

Goole’s ‘Green Team’ is a unique charity gardening service which provides practical, low-cost help to a broad number of older and less-abled residents. Offering their services within a ten-mile radius of the town, the team work relentless to tackle the gardens that can often be a source of distress to those advancing in age or affected by illness or disability. But the real beauty of this inspiring scheme is in the staggering rewards the volunteer gardeners themselves are receiving.

The team currently operate a full-time service all thanks to their 31 loyal and enthusiastic volunteers, and the scheme are now appealing for more helpers to come and enjoy the enriching experience.
Green Team’s Volunteer Co-ordinator Cheryl Price told Our Goole: “Our vision is to guide, inspire, involve and support each and every one of our volunteers, and the benefits they acquire from being part of our close-knit, supportive team are enormous.

“Working alongside a fully-trained supervisor each individual is guided and encouraged every step of the way, so even the most un-experienced can participate. Our friendly team teach and guide all of our volunteers so they can effectively learn ‘on the job’. Going into the homes and gardens of some of our community’s most vulnerable it is vital there is a high level of trust, respect and confidence. We offer a highly trusted, reliable service which allows people to continue living in their life-long family homes, and enjoy their gardens for longer. However the most significant positive is the benefits enjoyed by our actual volunteers. The sense of satisfaction they experience is enormous. Helping others gives a great amount of pride and an immense sense of self-worth.”

“They gain experience of working as part of a team, of providing a community service. It gets them outdoors, it can build or restore confidence. They learn how to maintain a garden, what tools are used for, it is a fantastic way of keeping fit, meeting new friends and having fun – and it can also help enhance career prospects. Volunteering shows a sense of commitment, reliability and time-keeping, it can really improve your CV and obviously there is a potential reference there for a future job, work placement or learning opportunity. We encourage and support all our volunteers so highly, they become close friends. Helping out provides them with a lot of enjoyment and gives them a real purpose, it’s amazing to see the growth people can make given this kind of encouragement, help and support.”

The team have expanded operations to include new volunteer opportunities at their West Park site using The Training Room and poly tunnels. Still in its infancy, the aim of this venture is to establish a team of community fundraising volunteers providing ‘table-top gardening’ for all. The set-up offers a perfect environment for those who wish to get involved with gardening but can’t manage the outdoors. The warm tunnels are kitted out with waist-height tables, perfect for anyone with back or hip problems, and the ultimate aim is to plant and propagate seedlings which will eventually blossom and then be sold on to raise funds for the charity.

Volunteers simply need to be a minimum of sixteen years of age, have a small interest in gardening and a desire to make a difference.  To help out from as little as three hours per week, contact 01405 837126 or email: info@thegreenteam.org.uk

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