Tag: Volunteering

Spreading your wings…. Volunteer opportunities at historic venue

Kicking your heels post lockdown? Recently graduated or still on furlough?

The Gardens have always been dependent on a fantastic band of happy and hardworking volunteers. Lockdown has been hard on many of them who are itching to come back to enjoy the friendship and the beauty of the site. It’s lovely to welcome many back, but others for various reasons cannot comeback, yet.

We are learning what we can do post lockdown – there are operational changes and we are having to rethink a lot of the ways we provide services and activities. This means we need to reach out for more volunteers too.

Perhaps you’re looking to stretch your experiences for your cv or looking for another way to ‘give back’.

Currently we have new opportunities for volunteers to help our historic Gardens Charity and to accumulate a range of visitor experience and front of house skills.

Our front of house entry sales and small shop needs happy, confident ‘welcomers’ 5 days a week.

We hope too, to be extending some of our family activities and outdoor evening entertainment when we re-allowed.

We are looking for volunteers who can commit to some training and either a regular day each week/fortnight or are flexible over the summer for 5 days or more

Later in the season there may also be Gardening opportunities.

Induction/Exploring Mornings for those interested in finding out more

Tuesday 7th July and Saturday 11th July, 11 am -12.30am

If you are interested please fill in the expression of interest form online first,if at all possible.,,and we look forward to answering your questions and showing you whats involved  on the induction days

(online expression of interest form:  https://forms.gle/iGvKqk6b2oE6UTRW7)

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volunteer weeding the bean tunnel

Beans and Potatoes – plant, grow, eat and support growers.

Planting and growing beans and potatoes has always meant a lot to us in the Gardens

We try to keep some of the really old varieties going, but we have also wanted to encourage people – especially children – to feel confident about growing their own food.

In February and March schools and family visitors have great fun planting beans and volunteer weeding the bean tunnelwatching them grow; at home or in the Gardens. Many of these beans get planted up in our own gardens to make an annual Bean Tunnel.

Come summer the tunnel is a lush green place to crawl in, explore and peek out to the world. And what a revelation … those long green things hanging down are beans you can eat!

Potatoes

Everyone loves a potato. When we can, we grow some of the oldest varieties from 100 or even 300 years ago – a way of ensuring the biodiversity of our food stock is kept.

But also, potatoes are pretty easy – 1 potato planted, makes a whole plate of chips or mash!

hallmoor students celebrate the harvest

 

 

 

 

We usually have two weekly visiting groups from special schools and colleges: Hallmoor School and Trinity Specialist college. We are missing their input and they are missing their visits to the outdoors here. Our gardeners have been looking after their plot  while they’re away… potatoes and beans doing fine. Let’s hope they can harvest them later in the year.

What you can do

The bean tunnel is partially potted up, so hopefully in the summer people can see that. Why not encourage young ones in your household to plant some beans themselves. When you  visit us later they can compare how tall they have grown. Beans, sunflowers and peas are relatively easy now. Here’s a great ‘how to’  from Cbeebies. https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/makes/plant-pots?collection=national-gardening-week

 

Even if you are not growing potatoes yourself, you can help the farmers who are.

Good and safe food starts with the growers, but many small growers are struggling to keep up in the current times. Some local organisations have banded together to help. Slow Food Birmingham,  and two of groups we already work with, The Real Junk Food Project and The Active WellBeing Society,   have teamed up for a great project – can you help?

http://slowfoodbirmingham.co.uk/campaigns/?fbclid=IwAR2MmZqEt7m2WjZZ-mBPx4LwYdWRr0X4Dznww3HiVvtX-1sMFwyNP9GORZoThe potato project

Charlie, a farmer north of the city, had a field full of spuds and no prospect of selling them because of the drop in trade in the hospitality sector.

There are 10 tonnes of potatoes

Charlie needs to dig up the potatoes and find new customers fast or let them rot and add to the growing numbers of food that is wasted, before it can be eaten. It’s also important that the growers get a decent price for their work and that the potatoes get to the most vulnerable too.

The organisations above are matching up emergency food needs and the general public.  Click below to see how it works.

Buying, donating, paying forward and receiving spuds… all in one project.

If you can’t participate directly – do spread the word about what we can do to make the future of food security better.

http://slowfoodbirmingham.co.uk/campaigns/?fbclid=IwAR2MmZqEt7m2WjZZ-mBPx4LwYdWRr0X4Dznww3HiVvtX-1sMFwyNP9GORZo

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turning stony faces into smiles

Our call out for your SmileStone creations to build ‘social distancing’ markers in the Gardens is beginning to take of… These have been delivered to our gates in the last week. AMAZING

Thank you so much – keep’em coming!

(your creations can be dropped into the flowerpot  at our gate – we’ll use them to make 2m markers- come back and see your creation… when we can open)

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On your doorstep nature..our wildlife survey

Citizen science: we can all make a difference to the world’s knowledge.

These days almost anyone can take part in gathering important information that adds to scientists’ understanding. From this Friday you can help us map some really important nature around the Gardens using a free app for your phone.

In the past we have taken part in things like national Bee Counts and flower surveys. Our colleagues over in Chelmsley Wood (B37 project and the Tribal Community Rangers) have started using this app  iNaturalist from the National Geographic Society.

In May we will be taking part – where we can – at looking and recording the wildlife surrounding our Gardens, over the Parkland, on the church paddock, on Lady Bradfords Gardens (the green common in front of the hotel).  It’s a month long bio-blitz!

Did you know that the Parkland, surrounding the Gardens, hasn’t had much change or disturbance on it for nearly 400 years! So, it’s a really rich place for biodiversity.

All you need to do is:

  • Download the app.
  • Have a look for ‘On your Doorstop’ under projects – and join (not compulsory- but will help them and us with the data )
  • Then on your daily walk around the area, take a snap or two and upload what you see:  plants, insects, animals , birds….
  • At the end of the month Tribal will crunch the data for us – and we’ll share it with everyone.
  • And that’s it… ooh don’t forget to share some of your photos on our facebook/twitter/instagram

Thank you … you will be contributing to human knowledge and science –  that’s a great thing!

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Add a smile(stone) to social distancing

When we re-open the Gardens – whenever that will be – we know that social distancing will be a ‘new normal’ for some while…

from Staff Smiles Stones (by gill )

So, the (still working) team here have been thinking about what that would look like. We want to help people feel safe when they come to visit, and know that others are looking out for their health too. Shops and supermarkets are using yellow floor tape and painted circles…that’s not quite the thing we want to do in our historic Garden.

We’ve come up with a number of ideas and one of them needs your help.

Smile Stones … have you seen them about?

There is a lovely phenomenon of people painting pebbles and leaving them in the environment for people to find, to make them smile, to think and sometimes to collect and pass on. (PS the advice at present during Covid-19 , is NOT to pick them up and move them – just a precaution)

Smile stones are a little piece of everyday sharing and of spreading love.  We already have a few in the Gardens deposited (with permission) by local people.

We think stone and pebble smiles stones would make wonderful social distance markers all around our garden… Every 2 metres a bright little stone hedgehog or ladybird, or perhaps a heart lifting message to keep you going on to the next marker?

If you’d like to take part in helping brighten up our Gardens walking routes we’d love you to start now.

Aldridge smile stones

Below are some facebook pages and other things about how to paint stones.

How to get them to us

We will leave a plant pot attached to the (inner) gates of the Gardens – you can just pop your stones in there, and we’ll keep them ready for when we open (if the pot disappears , just roll your stones under the gate and our gardener will pick them up when she visits..)

Thank you – do pass on this activity to anyone you think might enjoy taking part.

PS … don’t spend money getting fancy paint… do what you can, a coat of clear nail varnish will do the trick –  or any outdoor varnish you have in your diy cupboard – over the top of house paint/kids paint or marker pens will do!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2P3gnRmv7FYlS7YwklbvVHd/how-to-become-a-rock-artist

Facebook has 

https://www.facebook.com/smilestonesbg/

and lots of groups in Erdington, Sutton Coldfield and Staffs — just search

 

 

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Hello bunting…

Looking forward…

Volunteers have been central to pretty well every event and activity in the Gardens for decades, we are really missing their input and daily conversation.

So many people also contribute in the background by making, doing, cooking and inventing. Here is one thing which anyone could get involved in and help us with… if they wished.

Bunting is jolly. Full stop.

We use it for decorating  the stretch tent for events, for cheering up the entrance gates and courtyard, making intriguing spaces in the woodland area even more intriguing…

We would love more and welcome anyone’s efforts in making it during our lockdown. We can’t supply the materials Im afraid, so anything you do will be gratefully received as a donation.

We are happy to have any designs you make… triangular and cloth bunting would be used more often, but knitted, paper, square, animal shaped or anything would be lovely… Maybe we can use them all to make a jolly festival atmosphere on our return to opening – we’ll all need it.

Here below is a bit of help and inspiration

https://www.wikihow.com/Make-Bunting

    you tube: make ‘no-waste’ bunting  

 

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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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Help Grow the Gardens

The Gardens Trust here is run almost entirely by volunteers, who gift over 10,000 hours of their time per year to keep the Gardens trim.

They run the education, family and wildlife activities and support the survival of the charity by running the café, shop and holding fundraising events.

It costs the equivalent of £900 per day to keep the Gardens open and sharing its delights with the public.

So the Trust is entirely dependent on the generosity of our visitors, members, donors and grant-making Trusts to keep the Gardens open. We hope you enjoy the Gardens, and if so, perhaps you can help us keep them going.

There are many ways you can help Grow the Gardens.

You can:

  • Volunteer your time
  • Buy a raffle ticket
  • Make a one-off or regular donation
  • Become a member
  • Arrange to leave a legacy
  • Sponsor an event or family friendly/school activity

Click here for membership and volunteering forms or pick one up at the Visitor Centre.

This year’s raffle will be held on December 2nd at one of our Advent events. Just in time for Christmas!

There is a raft of prizes including a top cash prize of £200, afternoon tea at Hogarth’s hotel, a child’s bike, pairs of quality hand-forged trowels and forks from DeWit, original artworks, Christmas coffee presentation for Starbucks and more…

Tickets are £1 each and can be found in the Visitor Centre

Sponsorships

There are numerous events, activities and aspects of the Gardens which can be sponsored and we’d be glad to talk about how we can work together.

Contact us on 0121 749 4100, admin@cbhgt.org.uk to talk about sponsorships and other supportive opportunities, such as corporate volunteering days.

Donations

There are donation boxes around the site.

You can make an immediate donation by phone, just text CBHG17 £1 to 70070 and make a difference today (#justTextGiving by Vodaphone)

Other donations can also be made online at our Just Giving site, (Just giving.com/cbh-gardens.)Every donation will immediately help Grow the Gardens and will be used where it is most needed to directly support our work.

Thank you for your support! #wegrowtogether

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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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