Volunteering brings friendship and boost of Vitamin D - The Leamington Observer

Volunteering brings friendship and boost of Vitamin D

Leamington Editorial 12th Mar, 2023   0

FRIENDSHIP, a boost of Vitamin D and a rediscovered love for nature are just a few of the benefits of being grounds volunteers at Compton Verney, according to Anne Harwood and Jill Price.

Since joining the team of volunteers at the art gallery and registered charity, the pair have become firm friends and now make sure they turn up on the same day each week whatever the weather.

Anne, from Leamington, joined the team of eight grounds volunteers eight years ago after retiring from a 26-year career in the health service focusing on mental health, while Jill, from Kineton, joined four years ago, after a career in primary school management.

The pair support grounds staff with a variety of seasonal tasks including planting, pruning, wildlife surveying and even constructing wooden beds for flowers and compost.

Jill said: “The beauty of this role is that no two days are the same. There’s lots to do and we get involved in all sorts of projects across the site. For example, I thoroughly enjoyed working in Forest School and I’ve just started supporting the Dementia Cafe.

“Much of my work in school was behind a desk, so having a day a week, in the open air in this beautiful environment, alongside great people, ticks all the boxes for me. I even enjoy working outside in the winter!”

Anne added: “For some time, I worked in a corner office with no windows. So it really is a joy to be outside in this gorgeous landscape and watch the changing seasons. I’ve surprised myself how much I enjoy being outside particularly as, unlike Jill, I hate the cold weather! I really appreciate the dose of Vitamin D – especially in the sunnier months.”

Grounds volunteers get involved in a range of activities that develop new skills and bring a deeper knowledge of wildlife, trees, flora and fauna and gardening.

Compton Verney chief executive Geraldine Collinge said: “Our volunteers make a huge contribution to the work we do and are integral to making visitors feel welcome.

“Many have skills and experience from a wide variety of professions and roles and we value all the life skills and previous experience they bring to Compton Verney.

“However, for most of our volunteer roles, you don’t need any special experience, or qualifications – just enthusiasm and passion for the role.”

Visit www.comptonverney.org.uk/about-us/volunteering/ for further details.


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