Tuesday 1 May 2018

Green fingers needed

Garden vol

We're looking for local people to support our gardening project.

We've been developing the grounds around our accommodation at Archcliffe Fort in Dover.

Led by dedicated volunteer Christine Norman, the garden project is raising funds through growing and selling plants and vegetables. It also provides an opportunity for our companions (formerly homeless people being supported by the charity), to learn new skills by assisting with planting and outdoor work.

Christine, a Dover resident and keen gardener, started volunteering for Emmaus two years ago, and has used her passion to help transform the garden area.

I absolutely love volunteering here. When I got involved with Emmaus I realised that if we made use of the gardens, it would be a great opportunity for companions to develop their confidence working outdoors, as well as raising funds for the really important work the charity does."

Christine Norman - gardening volunteer

Emmaus Dover is now looking for new volunteers to join the team, and for local gardeners to donate unwanted seedlings.

I volunteer every week and now feel like part of the family here – I even bring my dogs to meet the companions. We have had some great support so far, but need a little bit more of a push to get this working really well. So far, we’ve been selling the vegetables we grow at our Emmaus charity shops in Ashford and Canterbury, and also selling bedding plants at our shop at Archcliffe Fort.”

Christine Norman - gardening volunteer

Local organisations have kindly started to support the project, with Dover District Council donating their old bedding plants to be nurtured by Emmaus when they replace seasonal flower displays around the town. Lovely volunteers from Marks & Spencer constructed raised beds, and local firm Ovenden have generously donated topsoil.

If people would like to help out, they can come and buy our vegetables and bedding plants. We’re also hoping more green-fingered people will come forward to volunteer their time in our garden, whether for a one-off day or as a regular visitor. Equally, if anyone has any spare seedlings that we could nurture to resell, we’d be really grateful. Emmaus Dover supports some of Dover’s most vulnerable people, and every penny raised will help us continue this vital work.”

Debra Stevenson, Community Manager at Emmaus Dover

If you're interested in volunteering or donating plants, please get in touch by calling 01304 204550 or emailing communitymanager@emmausdover.co.uk

Vegetables from the garden project are on sale at Emmaus shops at 22 Bank Street in Ashford and 47 Northgate in Canterbury. The bedding plant range is now on sale at Archcliffe Fort on Archcliffe Road in Dover.