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Volunteer master class

Volunteer master class

Stories from across the programme about Master Gardeners inspiring people to get growing. They show that whatever the crop, whatever the space, food growing is important for a healthy diet and lifestyle, learning skills, and bringing people together.

Case study 1 – Warwickshire

Stratford Food festival. Master Gardeners shared this event with Master Composters and Transition Stratford. Working together allowed this successful larger event, with more people to support and offer a more interesting stall to attract visitors.

Meanwhile, Robert in Baginton supports a number of households to grow food. After an initial visit, he follows up with regular emails, offering growing tips and what to do in the garden now. He has also written articles for his local newsletter and offers his expertise to a local primary school.

Pictured: Nuneaton and Bedworth volunteer centre open day

Case study 2 – Norfolk

Master Gardener Penny loves chatting to people and does many local events, such as this one pictured in her village hall. Penny has also taken Master Gardener into the Thetford Garden Centre and enjoyed a very successful open evening event.

Meanwhile, one of Brigid’s mentored households is single mum Sue, who is keen to grow vegetables to supplement her tight housekeeping budget. Brigid has suggested great money saving ideas such as growing comfrey for home-made liquid feed. Brigid has also introduced Sue to no-dig gardening to make it easier on her back.

Case study 3 – South London

Master Gardener Christine uses several approaches to find households. These include following up contact make at event, getting referrals from the volunteer co-ordinator via the website, and encouraging her work colleagues to sign up.

Christine has also approached housing associations and gone along to their existing gardening clubs or residents association meetings to explain more about the programme. This eclectic approach has worked well for Christine who has popularised the Master Gardener programme as she goes!

Case study 4 – Islington

Caroline is well known locally for gardening knowledge, both at Culpeper Community Garden where she has a plot, and at her fortnightly Columbia Road plant stall. But since becoming a Master Gardener, she has giving more than just tips to people in passing. By signing people up as households, Caroline can offer ongoing support that she finds really rewarding.

Caroline also offers online support and advice to Project Dirt members with her Master Gardener hat on. She recently helped out on the panel of a gardener’s question time at St Luke’s Centre to answer local gardening queries and problems.

Read more case studies from across the programme

Many thanks to our Master Gardeners and team of co-ordinators for these extracts from recent achievements.

Click here to contact us and thsee area links for more local stories: Warwickshire, Islington, south London, Norfolk

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We’re creating a model to establish custom networks of volunteer Master Gardeners in more UK areas. More information available here.

Photos on flickr