Celebrating the Wellbeing Benefits of Volunteering
Reading Time 2 minutes and 20 seconds
Date 30 May 2023
St Andrews Botanic Garden are delighted to share “Planting For Your Piece” - a new programme, supported by the Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund through Fife Voluntary Action and the Scottish Government, sharing the benefits of volunteering and spending time outdoors with those looking to improve their mental health in Fife.
The wellbeing benefits of time spent building connections with nature are widely known, and St Andrews Botanic Garden offers a beautiful, tranquil space for members of the community to explore plants and wildlife in, creating these connections to nature and a sense of peace. In their mission as a botanic garden, St Andrews Botanic Garden aims to maximise the benefits of the Garden as a place for wellbeing and help fill gaps in provision for mental health support in their community.
The Planting for Your Piece project is a key step in creating opportunities for people to improve their wellbeing at the Garden, providing regular volunteer gardening sessions which have been specifically designed to help participants connect with nature through growing their own food from plant to plate, and increase their confidence by learning new gardening and cooking skills. Participants are also able to build social connections with one another, both throughout the activities and during coffee breaks, reducing social isolation and promoting a sense of community within the group.
As part of the project, St Andrews Botanic Garden is also running a series of special events – sharing the benefits of the project with the wider community and allowing Planting For Your Piece participants to share the skills that they have learnt with family and friends. The next special event, a Volunteer Celebration Day taking place on Thursday 8th June, will celebrate Volunteers Week, bringing together members of all St Andrews Botanic Garden’s volunteer sessions and programmes, including Planting For Your Piece. Volunteers will come together in Garden to enjoy the arrival of summer and celebrate their contribution to St Andrews Botanic Garden with a special thank you lunch and social. As well as celebrating their vital hard work, this special event will allow members of all our volunteer groups and programmes to meet and allow Planting with Your Piece participants to hear about other volunteer groups they may wish join following their graduation from the programme, directly from those taking part in them currently.
During the Volunteer Celebration Day, there will also be the opportunity for members of the public interested in joining St Andrews Botanic Garden’s volunteer programme to hear from staff and current volunteers about the opportunities to get involved in volunteering at the Garden and how this can help them to build new skills, connect with others and support St Andrews Botanic Garden. This June is the perfect time to start volunteering at the Garden, with beautiful weather, gorgeous blooms to enjoy and the launch of new opportunities to be involved in St Andrews Botanic Garden’s research and monitoring work.
Spaces are still available for Planting For Your Piece, so if you feel you could benefit from being part of the group, St Andrews Botanic Garden would love to hear from you. Please contact Rebecca Duncan at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or register online .
For more information on joining St Andrews Botanic Garden’s volunteer team, please contact Bekki Gorgon at email@example.com, or join the Volunteer Celebration Day from 2pm on Thursday 8th June.