As part of National Volunteering Week we're celebrating some of the amazing work our volunteers do both in our parks and Head Office. If you're interested in volunteering then have a look at our volunteering opportunities to find out how you could support us.
Rachel Wells shares how volunteering at Knyveton Gardens has imporved her confidence levels and self-worth...
What inspired you to start volunteering?
After many years of addiction issues I needed something positive to focus on. I wanted to give back to the community that had saved me. I wanted to be all that was good, helpful and kind in the local community. I adore nature and found nature loves me!! Making Bournemouth parks accessible, safe and beautiful to all was a really fun and inspiring challenge.
How long have you been volunteering?
I joined Parks In Mind in September 2018 and haven't looked back!
What does volunteering mean to you?
Volunteering means I have a purpose in life, a role I can be proud of. I feel included, part of something special. I feel so proud of all our projects and love to see the changes in the environment that we made happen. Volunteering brings me so much joy, even on a bad day coming to Parks In Mind makes me feel that all is well and really lifts my spirits.
What do you like best of your volunteering experience?
It is so lovely when members of the public stop us because they have noticed the change we have made in our local parks. I love the camaraderie, making life long friends and getting muddy! I especially like making fond memories with my Mum and Dad, who are in their eighties and are also Parks In Mind volunteers. When my parents plant a tree I feel it is a legacy to them!
I also like how my levels of confidence have improved and my sense of self worth. When I am volunteering with Parks In Mind I feel happy, valued and free.
If someone was considering starting volunteering with us, what would you say to them?
If you would like to feel worthwhile, make friends, be an asset to your community and have great fun while hearing the birds sing we would love to meet you! The benefits to your mental health, fitness, well being and peace of mind are limitless. We are a friendly, welcoming bunch, come and have a cup of tea!!
If you're interested in joining our Parks in Mind team of volunteers please contact our Project Leader, Peter Holloway: