As a small community-based charity with a small staff team, we depend upon volunteers to deliver our services and run the charity. Volunteers made a huge impact in the early days of the garden site, where the site was cleared and redesigned and volunteers continue to play a crucial role in keeping the organisation running.

Key ways for volunteers to support the organisation are:

  1. As a Volunteer Support Worker. Volunteer Support Workers assist project staff with the delivery of therapeutic sessions for co-workers (service users). In addition to an interest in working with people with mental health problems or other significant illness, volunteers also bring skills in gardening or creative work.
  2. Supporting the delivery of our events. We hold fairs, open days and stalls, selling plants, crafts and refreshments. We very much rely on volunteers to help run and promote these events, which are a great opportunity for fundraising and to publicise our work. Get in touch if you would like to help us in this way.
  3. Supporting the transformation of our De Frene Road Site. During the spring and summer we hold monthly community volunteering days on Saturdays for people who want to get involved in some physical clearance and gardening activity. For more information see our events section.
  4. As a Trustee. Trustees are responsible for the strategic direction of the charity, meeting monthly to review progress towards our strategic aims.
  5. By holding events for us. We are lucky enough to have some wonderful volunteers who hold events for us, either in their own homes or they arrange these with groups they are involved with. For example, one volunteer holds a plant sale in her garden every year, with profits to Sydenham Garden. Another organises an annual concert with the choir they sing in. Another holds regular coffee mornings to raise funds for us. If you are able to help us in this way, we would be very grateful! Get in touch if you would like information about Sydenham Garden or a speaker for your event.

Volunteer Vacancies

We are always interested in potential volunteers in the following areas:

1.  To help provide support for one of our projects please click below for more detailed information on the role:

Art & Craft Support Volunteer

Garden Support Volunteer

Growing Lives Support Volunteer

Dementia Support Volunteer

Dementia Support Administrator (Voluntary)

Grower Volunteer Role

Clerk to the board

 

To apply for any of the above posts, please complete an application form,

Volunteer Application Form

  • Personal Details

  • Volunteering at Sydenham Garden

    Due to the nature of our work, some volunteer roles will require a Criminal Records Bureau check. We will try our best to match you to a role corresponding to your skills, interests and expectations.
  • Additional Information and Declaration

  • Please give details of two referees who could confirm your suitability for volunteering at Sydenham Garden (please note that at least one referee must be from someone who has known you in a professional capacity).
  • Referee 1

  • Referee 2

  • DECLARATION TO BE SIGNED BY THE APPLICANT:

    Sydenham Garden reserves the right to accept or reject applications for its volunteer programmes at its own discretion. By completing this form you agree to your information being held by the organisation for the purpose of processing applications, managing volunteers and monitoring volunteer activity. All personal information is treated with due regard to confidentiality and in accordance with the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998. Information we have on individuals will not be passed on to any other agencies without your consent -I understand that in the event of this application being successful, a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB (DBS) check may be requested. To the best of my knowledge, all of the information disclosed above is accurate on the date of signing.
    Sydenham Garden (SG) will record certain information about you. This information is overseen by SG’s Data Controller (currently Tom Gallagher). The Data Controller can be contacted at the Resource Centre Office. We record your name, address and telephone, emergency contact, and other details you provide us with. The legal basis for holding this information is called ‘legitimate interest’. We will hold your records for a further 6 years after you complete your time as a volunteer with us, or for 6 months after an unsuccessful application. We will never pass your information onto an external individual or organisation without seeking your consent first. You have the following rights relating to the information that we hold about you: A right to see the information we hold on you (access). SG will agree to your request as soon as practicably possible and not later than 1 month from the date of request. A right to request any errors in your information are corrected (rectification). SG will agree to your request as soon as practicably possible and not later than 1 month from the date of request. A right to request your information is erased from Sydenham Garden’s records (erasure). If there is no good reason for SG to hold your information, SG will agree to your request to erase the information it holds on you. However, while you are a volunteer, there will be a continuing good reason to hold the information to help us to provide you with the best care possible. A right to complain to the Data Controller using the SG Complaints Procedure. If you feel we have not responded correctly to your request please follow the SG Complaints Procedure. Should you not be satisfied after using our complaints procedure you have a right to complain to the Information Commissioners Office via: https://ico.org.uk/concerns/ or by the Helpline on 0303 123 1113.

Download the Volunteer Application Form, if you would rather return it to us by post or email.  If you would like to phone for an informal chat before completing an application form, then please call us on: 020 8291 1650.

If you do not want to sign up as a regular volunteer, why not join us as a Friend of Sydenham Garden so that you hear about activities coming up.

 

Volunteer Profile: Hamish Thomson

I was fortunate to be able to take early retirement following a successful career in higher education, where I specialised in teaching human biology to health care professionals. Before that I worked in the National Health Service, where I developed an interest in the care of older people and in particular individuals with dementia and its effect on their families. I have been a lifelong keen gardener having taken a degree in Plant Biology after leaving secondary school. The overriding feeling I get from volunteering at Sydenham Garden is that it is just great fun. I never feel like I am working because I am doing something I really enjoy. Helping others makes you feel good, and I know that I end up benefiting from volunteering just as much as the people I am supposed to be helping. I have gained so much over the past three years at the Garden and I would recommend anyone to get involved in volunteering if they have the time. Just go for it, I did and have never regretted the decision.

Sow and Grow 2

Equality and Diversity

Sydenham Garden has an Equality and Diversity policy and seeks volunteers that represent the diverse communities within Lewisham and Bromley.

Volunteers with disabilities: We provide specialised gardening tools and equipment for those with disabilities, and have an adaptable computer workstation and hearing loop available in our resource centre.

Accessibility: Sydenham Garden seeks to be as accessible as possible. Our Resource Centre is fully wheelchair accessible, as is the majority of the garden site at Wynell Road which has been designed with people with diverse needs in mind. We also have hearing loop systems available within the building. Our De Frene site is a little more difficult to access although we are working to address this. Please let us know if you have any comments or queries.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks: Please note that because we work with vulnerable people we carry out Enhanced DBS checks on volunteers that work closely with our service users. However, a criminal record does not necessarily bar you from working with our service users.