Ginny has volunteered for Bute Park Nurseries for the last four months. She has been picking up lots of skills and practice volunteering for the Nurseries and has been able to use her knowledge back home.

Why did you choose to volunteer with Bute Park?

I enjoy being active and love being surrounded by nature. As I currently do my RHS Level 2, a practice-focused horticultural qualification, I wanted to gain more practice across the board by volunteering.

I also find it very soothing to be around plants and trees; it has become therapeutic for me to go into the nursery.

How did you hear about the role?

I didn’t apply the conventional way. One day I walked into the Bute Park Education Centre and asked if there were any possibilities to volunteer with Bute Park Nurseries. Luckily they were looking for volunteers at the time and were welcoming any new ones. I got to speak to Meriel, the Bute Park Education Officer, and was soon able to meet everyone else at the Nurseries.

How often do you volunteer?

At the moment, I volunteer 1-2 times a week, but I do sometimes pass the Nurseries and see if they need an extra hand when I am nearby.

What does your typical day volunteering look like?

There is not necessarily a typical shift, but I like that, as my tasks change along with the seasons. I help with the plants within the Nurseries and identify diseases and pests. However, I have also planted plants and trees within the park itself as well as conserving the path.

What do you enjoy the most about volunteering?

The people here are very lovely and generous with their knowledge. I enjoy listening and talking to them about their experiences and how they came about to working in Bute Park. They are all very supportive regarding my course and I feel comfortable with asking questions, and especially enjoy it when I get tested on the knowledge I learn on the course.

My love for nature is definitely reciprocated here. It is very affirming to be surrounded people who appreciate and respect nature as much as I do.

As you are doing a course at the moment as well, has volunteering at Bute Park been helpful?

Yes, but it has also been helpful outside my RHS classes. I have an allotment, where I plant flowers, vegetables and fruit. Learning about things such as the different soils, has been of great use, especially since I grow vegetables for consumption. Last year was my most successful year, and that was thanks to my expanding knowledge. This allotment has become my sanctuary space, where I can just get some peace and quiet. It is nice to try to grow more things when I learn and experience so much whilst volunteering.