Over the Garden Gate

Over the Garden Gate is our programme of mentored volunteering – with such a small team we depend on the help of volunteers to support individuals who need a bit of help to experience equal benefit from their involvement with the garden.  This may be that they are lacking in gardening knowledge or have a physical problem such as reduced mobility or learning difficulties.  They may be suffering from chronic depression, anxiety or a lack of confidence.  Gardening is increasingly recognised as an activity bringing real benefit to people in these situations. By pairing volunteers with a mentor, we can ensure that everyone is working productively and to the best of their ability.

Heather Thomas our volunteer coordinator oversees our volunteering groups, not only making sure that the garden is being appropriately cared for but, even more so, making sure that our volunteers are working appropriately, comfortably and productively ensuring they get the most out of their volunteering.  We tend our volunteers, just as they tend the garden, ensuring they have the right conditions to learn and grow together, developing individuals as they develop this beautiful space.

Volunteers are involved in the planning and development of the garden, giving a sense of belonging and security, regularly learning new skills and making new friends.  The beauty of gardening is that there is always a task to do, irrespective of an individual’s knowledge, background or ability and the fact that Helmsley is visited by so many, every single task contributes to enhance the garden and thereby enhance the visitor experience.