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Volunteer case studies names have been changed

Volunteer

Volunteers can work one or two days, a morning or just a couple of hours a week. Travel costs are covered and refreshments provided. There are many benefits to volunteering. You can gain new skills, meet new people, enhance your CV, give something back and make a real difference to people's lives. It's also fun! Volunteering for GROW does not affect unemployment benefits. If your are interested in volunteering with us please complete our contact form and in a few days one of our Coordinators will be in touch to have a chat.

I am interested in volunteering for GROW

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It’s great to have a reason to get out of the house and to have the opportunity to see people which I wouldn’t otherwise do

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Volunteer case studies
Read about some of our volunteers. Names have been changed.

Zak has some learning difficulties

Zak was introduced to us as a volunteer by ‘Plus-‘. He is hoping to get work experience with us so that he can gain employment as a gardener.  He has learning difficulties and went to a local special school.

 

GROW has been trying to give him as much experience as possible and training in using various tools .  He has picked up using most of the machinery very quickly.

 

GROW then arranged access to a weed identification course for him paid for by GROW using its bursary fund (kindly donated by corporate Patron Tatton Estate Management).

John has some learning difficulties

John has special educational needs and severe learning difficulties. He came to us originally via Petty Pool whilst he was at college. At the end of his time there he was at a loss about what to do with himself.  He was not capable of working unless he found a employer who was particularly supportive. He asked if he could return to us as a volunteer.

 

He has since gained a wide variety of gardening skills. He most likes the social aspect of the role, talking to our beneficiaries who are always happy to encourage his hard work, and being with our other volunteers. He also enjoys our sessions at Tatton Park where he has been working in all the gardens.

Dan's not been so well

Dan found out about GROW and contacted us himself.  He had taken some time off work as a craftsman as he was recovering from a brain tumour. He wanted some active volunteering as he wanted to see if he could cope with physical work again. He picked up the use of the equipment quickly and was of great use to GROW.

After three months volunteering with GROW Dan felt able and confident to return to paid work and is now using his craftsman’s skills again, working in South Manchester. GROW then arranged access to a weed identification course for him paid for by GROW using its bursary fund.

I like seeing the gardens improve over the weeks and months of work, and love seeing the enjoyment that beneficiaries get from my work

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I've learnt loads of stuff about plants and the social side is good too!

Joseph has learning difficulties

Joseph had a voluntary placement with Knutsford Grow where he worked on gardening tasks every Monday and Tuesday. He attended   as a part of the Work and Health Programme via the Job Centre. This increased his confidence and his ability to carry out gardening work such as pruning, mowing and strimming. He really enjoyed this work and benefitted from the contact with the other volunteers working there.

Ines gained language skills

Ines is in her twenties and moved from Portugal when her husband got a job here. She couldn’t speak English and didn’t get much opportunity to interact with people, creating a barrier for her when seeking employment.

She was taught gardening by her parents and had a brother with disabilities so GROW was a great fit. After some months with GROW she was successful in finding a job.

Wilson gets active after illness

Wilson was referred to us by the Jobcentre in August 2019.

He was recovering from two brain tumours and had been out of the workplace for a number of years. He had always had an interest in the outdoors and gardening.

 

He really enjoys the social interaction side of volunteering and the fortnightly trips to Tatton Park to work with the gardening team.

Bursary

We’ve teamed up with Tatton Estate Management Limited to offer an educational bursary. Its aim is to support interested volunteers develop their skills and gain Horticulture Diplomas at Reaseheath College. Volunteers can qualify for the scheme by attending GROW gardening sessions for four months, after which they become eligible to tap into the generous bursary fund which will support up to 90% of course and travel costs.

GROW's Chairman said:

“We are absolutely delighted that thanks to Tatton Estate Management we will be able to offer an educational Bursary to our volunteers. So often, our volunteers come to us to gain new skills and experience. With the Bursary in place they will be able to take this further and study horticulture at college or get coaching in new skills”.

Contact our coordinator at enquiries@knutsfordgrow.org.uk to find out more.

I appreciate having to the chance to be in a real work environment, and to put into practice what we learn in college.

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