Volunteers’ Week – A week worth celebrating

Volunteers’ Week – A week worth celebrating

Thu 30 May 2019

Volunteers’ Week is a chance to celebrate and say thank you for the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK every day. In 2017, Andy Haldane, chief economist of the Bank of England estimated that volunteering was worth more than £50 billion to the UK economy and even that, he said, may be conservative. With over 20 million people in the UK volunteering formally at least once a year and 12 million volunteering at least once a month, the scale and value of volunteering is undeniable and, at the National Garden Scheme, volunteers have been the life-blood of the charity since 1927. It is through their tireless enthusiasm and support that we were able to donate over £3 million to nursing and health charities this year alone.

“We’re hugely proud of our achievements, and prouder still of our volunteers,” says CEO, George Plumptre. “A rich blend of generosity to help others lies at the heart of the National Garden Scheme. Working across England and Wales, our community of volunteers and garden owners help to raise impressive amounts of money for the nursing and health charities we support.”

With the support of 556 volunteers, the National Garden Scheme will open over 3,500 exceptional gardens in 2019 raising money from admission fees and the sale of tea and home-made cakes. But volunteering brings wider benefits too. It’s human nature to feel good after helping someone and volunteering has been shown to improve volunteers’ wellbeing. Volunteering can also help you gain valuable new skills and experiences, boost your confidence and create lasting friendships as National Garden Scheme volunteers can testify:

“We feel part of a valuable community, supporting our wonderful garden owners and helping the National Garden Scheme raise as much money as possible for worthwhile causes.” Pamela and Martin Shave, County Organiser and Treasurer, Leicestershire.

“I have volunteered for 22 years. Encouraging garden owners and publicising our gardens through social media gives immense satisfaction; my ‘garden family’ is very important to me.” Claudia Pearce, Assistant County Organiser, West Sussex.

“It has been such a joy to encourage and support new garden owners to showcase their hard work and passion for gardening. Volunteering has brought me closer to my local community and I’ve forged many new friendships along the way.” Hasruty Patel, Assistant County Organiser, London.

We’re always looking for new volunteers so if you’d like to join the team here’s how you can help:

Do you enjoy talking to people and visiting gardens?

You could become part of our county team, identifying new gardens and supporting our garden owners.

Do you have experience in press and publicity?

You could volunteer in a media role dealing with local press, contribute to our local social media channels or give talks to local groups.

Do you enjoy finance?

You could help the National Garden Scheme in a treasury role.

Or perhaps you are a keen photographer?

We are always looking for great quality photos of our garden open days to help us feature the gardens and promote the work we do.

Inspiring, rewarding, sociable, a joy and a privilege are just some of the ways our volunteers describe their experience as part of our team. We want you to have the same experience, and to get the most out of your role we offer help and relevant training to our new volunteers.

If you are over 16 years old and have an enthusiasm for the National Garden Scheme, we would love to hear from you. You can view current volunteering vacancies on our website here or contact Georgina Waters at georgina@ngs.org,uk