Category: Volunteer

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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family Friendly volunteering in the Gardens

Unplug and Play! Our summer long 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 can help you grow and practice your creative, early years, youth work, woodland and gardening skills.

Storytime, crafts, learning to knit, mud kitchens and doodling we’ve got them all this summer.

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 , 10am- 12,  31st March, 28th April etc

Download a copy of this information (pdf) here : Family Activities volunteering

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

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.

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

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

 

2000 bulbs to plant….

It’s that time of year again. Can you help us out?

Tulips were a ‘really big thing’ for our Gardens’ founders. In the 17th century there was even ‘tulipmania’; massive fortunes were won and lost by enthusiasts and tulip traders.

These days we’re a bit more level headed, but we are mad about the beauty of our spring borders.

Many of our lovely ‘daffs’ come back year after year and naturalise in the orchard and img_20160331_194725_26185577776_ograssy banks. But like tulips, they need renewing every now and then.

This year we have over 2,000 tulips, daffodils and narcissi to plant before the cold frost comes.

Can you help us? 

trumpetYou don’t need to be an expert, just come and join us on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday mornings next week and be part of the planting team.  We’ll show you how.

We’ll be planting from 10am – 12.30 . on 29th, 30th November & 1st December. Weather permitting. Warming tea and coffee supplied.  Turn up at 10, or contact us in advance.

Plant the little globes full of flower goodness… stand back and wait for a spectacular spring! 

PS There will be a lot of kneeling and digging with a hand trowel

 

 

Pumpkin cook-up

It’s been an exceptionally good year for our pumpkin and squash crop. 

Some went to enliven Halloween, some have been sold to our visitors.

Traditionally – with the help of volunteers – we then turn them into delicious soup to sell to our customers in the colder months.

This year we’re going a little further. Our volunteers have had a group chopping and cooking session. The surplus soup and spare squashes will now be shared with some other charities.

We love growing these triffid-like plants in our South Kitchen Garden and chuffed that all the effort will not go to waste but will go to provide some warmth and sustenance to others who need a little extra.

 

 

Growing the conversation

Social Media Surgeries: As part of our Heritage Lottery Funded programme to become a more self sustaining charity, we are getting to know our neighbours a bit better.

The Gardens are, people often say, a ‘hidden gem’  and a ‘secret treasure’. That is one of our strengths; a green , quiet and peaceful lacuna within an intensely industrialised landscape. Being a bit hidden away and surrounded by gates and walls can nevertheless be a bit forbidding to many. We’ve been working hard to let people know we are here and that,  in fact, we quite like having guests sharing the place.

As well as running more activities and events, for adults and children, we are also inviting our community neighbours, local charities, groups and venues to get into conversation with us. After all, it is people that have always made this great Garden charity work.

We have been working with a group called Podnosh to run Social Media Surgeries. No, its nothing to do with a doctors surgery, they’re hassle free and relaxed sessions where ‘active citizens’ can talk to each other and learn from each other about getting their messages out there and growing their networks…using digital and internet-y things.

Our next surgery is Monday 7th November, from 5- 6.30pm, and we have more starting monthly in February. Our slogan is #wegrowtogether , if you are a local group, charity or are involved in a campaign or social cause, come along, learn, share start the conversation – we’d love to hear.

Podnosh were recently interviewed by a group called Ethos – here is Nick Booth explaining eloquently, why social media surgeries work.

Digital Volunteers wanted at Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens

We are looking for volunteers who can help us with the digital side of the gardens – helping us promote our regular programme of activities as well as our special events online.

The role of a digital volunteer will include:

  • Creating and scheduling posts for our various social media platforms including; Facebook and Twitter.
  • Assisting in compiling monthly newsletters
  • Compiling and writing copy for the website

We are looking for someone with experience, but depending on your interests, we can tailor the role to you, and work with you to develop your current social media skills.

This will suit volunteers who might have:

  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communications
  • Current experience using social media platforms
  • Ability to work as part of a team and independently
  • Good computer skills
  • Proof reading skills
  • Graphic design knowledge
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Enthusiasm!

Ideally we would be looking for someone willing to develop a long term relationship and is able to commit time each week to help us in this role.

Benefits would include:

  • Access to a great historic garden with a growing event calendar.
  • Experience working with an active charity.
  • Ability to develop skills and learn new ones

If this sounds like something you be interested in fill in our quick form and we’ll be in touch to tell you more.