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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- As a Trustee. Trustees are responsible for the strategic direction of the charity, meeting monthly to review progress towards our strategic aims.
- 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.
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:
To apply for any of the above posts, please complete an application form,
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.
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.