Category: Volunteer

Vandals, mud and bugs

[update: We are overwhelmed by the positive support and reaction of the public to this act of vandalism in the Gardens. we are grateful to everyone for their good wishes and take heart in knwoing that what we are trying to do pleases so many people.  

We are busy prparng for our big 40s event at present, as soon as that is over we will be planning to invite our wellwishesr to be part of the reconstruction of the spaces – it might take a little planning- but we are really looking forward to involving even mor epeople in the pleasure of our spaces…. Please keep a look out for news of how you can help out… .With heartfelt thanks from the volunteers , staff and Trustees]

(PS Many people have asked how they might contribute financially – if this is something yu want and ware able to do, you can make a contriubtion of any size to our Just Giving page HERE.  All contributions for the next month will go directly on the re-build project… THANKS)

…over the past few months thoughtless and destructive intruders have done some stupid things in the Gardens overnight – all of which has cost our charity and hard working volunteers both money and tears. Over the last 2 nights yet more destructive idiocy has happened. This time it directly affects our visitors too. Last night was even worse.
Our little mud kitchen – much beloved by toddlers and parents was set alight. The ‘bug hotel’ built by volunteers and visitors last year to attract creepy crawlies was also burned. The fences protecting the small bridges by our spinney pond have now been trashed 4 times. Its not just stuff we have built , but nearby trees have been scorched too.
Our charity and volunteers look after these unique Gardens on behalf of us all. What brains and hearts get pleasure out of spoiling things for everyone else? They are the few…we are the many…oh, and our hedgehog cameras are now trained on humans…

 

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two women serving in the cafe and smiling

Volunteering opportunities

We are an all year round Garden and visitor attraction so, although winter is not usually a time for  picnics, we’re still really busy with open days, planting, catering and looking after group visits, preparing the summer events programme, mending fences, updating our website, welcoming school groups and clearing out our files….

We may be an oasis of green calm in the city but, like the elegant swan, there’s a lot going on under the surface …. and most of it is done by volunteers.

We offer a multitude of opportunities  for all kinds of skill sets, whether you want to improve your CV and gain new skills or meet new people, whether you have limited or lots of time, we welcome everyone.

On the 1st of February, 10am-1pm, we are holding an open morning for potential volunteers where you get a taste of the garden and find out what we are looking for in volunteers and what we can offer you. The garden is rich in history, nature, and culture, and hosts a diverse range of events, including heritage days, concerts and performances, and family friendly activities. There really is something for every interest!

To register interest or for more information please email gen.manager@cbhgt.org.uk or phone 0121 749 4100, or you’re more than welcome just to come on the day!

CBHG has a large car park and is easily accessible by public transport- the X12/X70/94 buses from the centre of town take you almost directly to our door (Southfield Avenue stop)

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Volunteering at our Lantern Events 2017

We are looking for willing volunteers to be Stewards and servers of hot chocolate and marshmallows to visitors at our upcoming Lantern Festival!

Here are some descriptions of the roles available (including other roles.)

The Gardens are largely staffed by volunteers and we’re looking forward to putting on this great family oriented series of events this month.

Volunteering will provide practical, rewarding experience of events management and organisation that will look excellent on a CV. Its a great way of giving something to a local community and a great group thing to be involved with. Travel expenses to and from the Gardens are also covered.

Volunteers MUST be available on one or (preferably) more of: Sunday 26th November, Saturday 2nd December, Sunday 10th December, Saturday 16th December as well as a training day, likely the 24th of November but relatively flexible.

There are some indoor roles, but you must also be comfortable working out of doors, working in the dark, directing visitors, and serving drinks. We will provide training , Hi Viz jackets, warming drinks and smiles :-)).

If you are interested please click the google form here http://bit.ly/2AWUaHz   to fill in your details and preferences.

Thank you! Please share with your friends  

Volunteer Teams -Brief role description

Hot chocolate servers and marshmallow toasters
Served from the GreenHouse  3.30pm – 5.45pm  each public day.
Sold on 3 days and given away (tokens) on the last day.
Tasks

·         Serve and take money for hot chocolate (instant)
·         Supervise outdoor firepit (small) and toasting marshmallows
·         Keep a track of supplies, safety and cleanliness
·         Source and tidy marshmallow sticks (twigs and barbecue)
·         Help families toast their own mallows.
·         Clear up during and at end of session

Stewards/site guides
Meet and Greets and Safety

·         Wearing hi viz jackets to welcome and point people in the right direction as the light fades.
·         Stationed at specific points around the garden to ensure people don’t get lost, miss out. etc
·         Able to readjust basic parts of the display if necessary.

Stewards/Gardens Ambassadors (for Stewards who like to talk)

Helping visitors understand what we have to offer as a whole and helping us raise more money
·         Provide info verbally – for the day and other activities
·         Get informal feedback
·         Take emails
·         Talk about memberships, events, activities and volunteering
·         Distribute 2 for 1 and free chocolate tickets as needed

 

Lantern makers and craft helpers   (INDOORS 12.30 -4ish )
·         Help families during the public days to make lanterns, decorate glass jar lanterns and to make twig stars and glitter cones.
·         Prep and tidy up

Site preparation and care (Fridays before the events)

Keeping it all looking pretty and safe -Various types of roles.
·         Checking lights/cables are safe
·         Replacing items and tidying after weather or public has displaced
·         Ensuring the ‘look’ of the installation is maintained (a bit of set dressing naus)
·         Replenishing supplies
·         Cleaning /drying seats etc
·         Making sure signs are in the right place.
·         Rubbish bins replaced etc etc
·         Clear paths, make safe etc
·         Looking after bits of garden – safe from public and safe for public
·         Maintain standard of presentation

Car park duties

Control and management of parking entry and exit, keeping everyone safe with special attention ‘cos of dark
(Training in teams essential)

Click the google form here http://bit.ly/2AWUaHz   to fill in your details and preferences.

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Free lantern making workshops

Help make our enchanted mushroom lantern village for christmas in the Gardens.

We’re working with artist Sophie Handy to make 100 little mushroom houses from willow and tissue paper. A great family, club or class event. These workshops are free.

Your creations will go into the Gardens to help make a magical, illuminated woodland walk ready for our weekends before christmas 

and the big Community Lantern Parade. ‘Mushroom makers’ who help on these days will get free refreshments on the day and, as a thank you, a token for free hot chocolate and marshmallows in our Community Lantern Parade on 16th Dec.

It takes about 2-3 hours to make the lanterns, and its probably best for children over 7 years old.

November 10th (12-5pm) and Saturday 11th (10- 4pm)

Pop in on the days .. or contact us here for more info

SEE here for details of the events lantern parades, woodland walks and entertainment

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Giving Time raises money and improves your CV

Looking to get real experiences down on the CV, some references to show your talents are not just wishful thinking?  These days employers look for practical and provable experience to show you are employable. Volunteering for small charities is not just ‘ a good thing’ to do, it provides tangible benefits to the Charity, something great to see on your CV and, very probably, you will find it a positive personal experience – giving feels good.

Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens is a tiny charity, dependent on volunteers and doing really rather ambitious things. …come and be part of it.

Not only do we preserve a really beautiful – and historically important – garden in the middle of a city landscape, we also open it up to the public nearly every day of the year.

The 10 acre site is a place of peaceful wandering and contemplation, but its also an exciting place for young children to explore the outdoors, to come face to face with nature in a safe place for the first time. It’s a place to explore art and creativity, to experience theatre and music on your own doorstep, to find places where people can meet together, share picnics under the blossoms, discover neighbours, learn to grow vegetables and harvest them, create bug hotels, indulge in nostalgia for the 40s (our big 1940s weekend is firmly established on the re-enactors calendar) and generally get active..

To do this well for our visitors, and to raise the income we need to be a successful charity, we rely on the Gift of Time from Volunteers.

It’s not just gardening (although that is an enormous part), there are opportunities to develop your visitor service, practice your retail skills in our cafe and shop, make sure the site – and its signage – is clear, in the right place and communicates.

Our Unplug and Play programme is developing outdoor play environments and creative play sessions. Why not join our small team creating recycled, woodland, simple craft, child-centred and family based activities…

Maybe you have the theory of digital marketing and event planning – what about practical experience? Our growing programme of educational and fundraising activities needs constant attention… Can you help build our Twitter reach? Plan and organise resources for a shoestring event? Write copy for the press and produce convincing text to persuade donors and members to help our cause?

If you have just a few hours to spare, or want to spend some consistent time building up your CV, why not come and be part of a great community #wegrowtogether.

Email or ring for a chat. come along to our Open volunteering Sessions … Friday 28th April and Friday 26th May (10-12ish)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Family Friendly volunteering in the Gardens

Unplug and Play! Our school holiday programme  for families to get outside, together in a safe and creative place. Suddenly the Back Garden grew… to 10acres!

 Want to try out your work skills? Why not volunteer with us.

*We’re looking right now for volunteers for February half term, Easter and summer holidays  apply now to find out how you can make a difference*

We can help you grow and practice your creative, early years, youth work, woodland and gardening skills.

Storytime, crafts, learning to knit, mud kitchens, land art and wildlife activities, we’ve got them all.

You can have a great time helping young people grow – just few hours will make a difference.

We want young children and their grown-ups to find our Gardens a place to get outside, enjoy making and creating, run around and sometimes just be peaceful.

Can you help us support them?

Families can use the Gardens 7 days a week but on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during school holidays, from 12-3pm, we run extra sessions.

Ways you can help:

  • Perhaps help us run story time in the Maze?
  • Help us with simple craft activities – frogs from cardboard tubes, recycling milk cartons into wind catchers?
  • Be part of the giant recycled knit-knot tent made from strips of material and French knitting ‘ropes’.
  • Garden alongside our junior gardeners?

You don’t have to be an expert, we can show you how to do things.

As well as the sessions we need people to prepare and tidy up – put away the books and cushions, set out the croquet on the lawn, collect the doodles and pin them to the artline.. gather recycled materials ….

Let us know if you have some time- or know of others who’d like to help out. You don’t need to commit to the whole summer, just a few hours of your time can make a big difference.

Want to know more?

You can: Phone. 0121 749 4100, Email :admin@cbhgt.org.uk

Fill out a form here

Come along to one of our regular Volunteer Open sessions  (see event calendar – Fridays), 10am- 12,  3Download a copy of this information (pdf) here : Family Activities volunteering

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Event support volunteers

Do you love making something happen? Want to do something good in your community? Like working with others in a team? 

Come and be a part of something which makes people smile and help us run a great programme of public events.

Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens Trust is a tiny charity with a big Garden – 10 acres!!  We are run by volunteers and rely on volunteers to keep the charity going.

We love to share the space with people and, to help us keep the charity going, we also run over 25 public events and 40 family activity sessions. Our volunteers run a small café and a shop too.

Events range from musical afternoons through outdoor family theatre to 1940s nostalgia and rare plant fairs. Many activities happen at weekends or during school holidays.

Why not come and have fun making it fun for everyone.

What will I be doing?

Depending on the event and your preferences, you may be asked to:

  • meet and greet visitors and make sure they can find their way about
  • help set up and clear down the event
  • help set up signs and flyers to advertise the events in advance
  • staff the shop or stalls
  • sell raffle tickets and tell people about membership
  • take refreshments to other volunteers on the day
  • help the organisers run a smooth event
  • help direct traffic safely in the car park

What skills, experience and attributes do I need?

Along with being able to give your time on at least 2 or 3 occasions, we ask that you are

  • flexible and willing to volunteer outdoors
  • enthusiastic about what we do and helping at events
  • willing to work as part of a team
  • Some tasks might involve physically moving tables, equipment etc…. we can adjust according to your needs – there’s a variety of roles!

If you have specific skills and experience that you think might be useful, such as event management, graphic skills, leading teams, till experience, car parking, first aid – do please let us know when you apply.

But don’t worry, we will provide training and induction as needed – a willingness to help out and to learn the ropes is the main thing .

Want to know more?

You can: Phone. 0121 749 4100, Email: admin@cbhgt.org.uk

Fill out the form on this website here

Or come along to one of our regular Volunteer Open sessions , 10am- 12,  31st March, 28th April etc…

Download a copy of this (pdf) here : Events Support volunteering

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Volunteer Stories: Felicity Hallam

“I have been volunteering one day a week at Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens for the past 7 months as part of my History degree at the University of Birmingham. I have been able to spend much of my time focusing on one main project, researching and redesigning the historical interpretation around the site. Staff made sure that I was working on something tailored to my interests and skills and make sure that every volunteer gets the same opportunity. In my 7 months, I have designed and created hand-held interpretation boards and a twenty minute tour around the site for our visitors to use. Whilst focusing on one main project, I have always been able to get involved in every aspect of the gardens, from working in the café with customers to marketing. There has always been amply opportunity to try something new. I have found my time at CBHG incredibly fun and fulfilling, and would encourage anyone to volunteer here!” – Felicity Hallam

Do you have gardening, social media, or customer service skills? We would love to have you join us as a volunteer. Click here to get in touch.

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Volunteers make the welcome work …

We’re full of  Family Fun at half term … Can you help make the best welcome for all to the Gardens?
We are recruiting volunteers to support us deliver fun and friendly craft and outdoor activities next week. (Monday 20th Feb – Friday 24th 11-3.30)
All week children and their grown-ups will explore our 10 acres, discover the mud kitchen, hunt for bugs, make daffodil cards and find signs of spring.
Volunteers can help with everything from showing people round, ensuring signs and maps are ready, showing how to make the crafts. Training and induction is given and you’re always in a team with others.
Our cosy café serves visitors warm drinks and snacks… we always need help there too.
Interested? Contact us for a chat. Phone, message or fill in the form on our website here : volunteer-enquiry form
#wegrowtogether

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donkey friend -https://www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/opening-times

Little Donkey doo’s mulch help ..

They say what goes around comes around, well its certainly true for two local charities.

With 10 acres of ground and over 600 species of plants, it takes a lot of compost to keep our soil healthy and productive. So we are really pleased to be working in partnership with the Donkey Sanctuary in nearby Sutton Coldfield.

Naturally, the donkeys produce a lot of poo… on a daily basis. With limited space on site the Sanctuary needs places where they can ‘recycle’ the recycled donkey food. As well as some very lucky allotment holders, Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens are thrilled to be able make good use of lots of donkey  ‘soil improver’.

Normally we add the fresh, straw laden donkey-doo to our compost heap to rot down into nutrient rich earth to use on the vegetable beds or in potting compost.  At this time of year it can go directly onto some of our Wilderness beds to act as a ‘mulch’; keeping in the warmth, suppressing any weeds that feel like poking their heads above the ground and, eventually, improving the structure of the soil.

Today, volunteers Jack, Roy and John kept themselves warm raking and spreading the new delivery from the Donkey Sanctuary. Thanks folks …. and donkeys  #wegrowtogether

Find out how to visit our donkey friends here The Donkey Sanctuary opening times

 

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