Volunteering for The Growing Space

The benefits of volunteering are huge, both to the volunteer and the community. It’s a great way to meet people, make new friends and broaden your support network. It increases your self-confidence and self-esteem, and can help you stay physically healthy. And, of course, it benefits the community and those that you will be helping or working alongside.

If you have a background in horticulture, care or education you might like to help us deliver our services or maintain the gardens. If you have no experience but are interested, our qualified and experienced staff can provide training and guidance. Over the years many of our volunteers have taken on a dynamic role in both the management and maintenance of the gardens. Volunteers are essential because they enrich and add value to our services. Our gardening project would be very different if it wasn’t for our volunteers and our objective has always been to involve people from the community in all aspects of our work.

What do we need?

We have several roles for volunteers in the garden, some requiring more commitment than others. Volunteers maintaining the gardens might occasionally move their time around to suit the weather, but volunteers helping support clients and beneficiaries will need to be here at specific times. We need volunteers with skills in horticulture, construction, therapy, care or education & training. Having no skills or experience in these areas is no problem as long as you have the motivation, willingness and time for learning new skills. You will be given help and support to get started, and inducted into our safety procedures and policies on vulnerable adult and child protection (we undertake a DBS check if you are working in this area). A criminal record does not necessarily bar you from volunteering; it depends on what the offence was and when it was committed.

From time to time volunteers find themselves undertaking tasks independently in the gardens when the horticulture workers are not around (this doesn’t include support of vulnerable adults or children). We hope our volunteers will be happy to work on their own occasionally.

Our experience tells us that volunteering should be something that anyone can aspire to do, but it is not necessarily something that everyone can do straight away. This is especially so for people who have experienced a lot of difficulty and turbulence in their life. If you're just getting over problems in life and still need support, then have a look at our supported gardening pages. It's better to start at a point from which you can quickly progress, than a point at which you could quickly become overwhelmed and experience a return of your difficulties. We always support people to progress towards volunteering or employment. Do you need help?


The charity has a volunteer training budget and previous volunteers have undertaken training in topics as diverse as supporting children with special educational needs through horticulture, hedge laying, designing with grasses, first aid, cut flower arranging and many more! We offer all our volunteers out of pocket expenses including lunch expenses if you volunteer all day and travel expenses

We can link you with project workers at The Balsam Centre who can support you while you find work or build skills for employment (Job Done!). You’ll also have the opportunity to meet others through getting involved in lots of activities happening at The Balsam Centre, (Touch wood, Loose Ends Cafe, art and textiles workshops).

We have social events through the year and we’re sure that you’ll enjoy your time here.


In The Garden

This year we have set aside some of the vegetable beds for flowers which will be used for flower arranging. Depending on available funds we are going to build some purpose built cut flower beds and run workshops.

Last year we produced a good crop of tomatoes, onions, runner beans, chillies, cucumbers and other vegetables, used to provide some of the food cooked by volunteers in the cafe.

Current Volunteer Vacancies


Click on a vacancy link to open a window with all the information on the volunteer positions. If you are interested in applying for a position, download a volunteer handbook and the application and declaration forms. Bring the forms with you to the centre - or drop in to meet us and find out more. We will need to see 3 forms of ID for a DBS form, a passport, driving licence or birth certificate (2 from this group), and a recent bill for council tax or a utility bill, mortgage or a bank statement (1 from this group).