Co-design workshop and volunteer awards

We had a great session last week where we were exploring possible future directions for the garden – as well as looking at the obstacles we face.

There were no shortage of ideas!  Everyone had the chance to suggest new activities or features, which we grouped into different themes (see below).  We then spent some time with the 3 themes which had the most interest, working in groups to understand how they might be progressed (underlined themes).  If you are interested in getting involved with any of the ideas, or have an idea or comment of your own, please do get in touch.

After the workshop we awarded the first batch of our volunteer certificates – volunteer time amounted to around 2500 hours last year!  The garden wouldn’t exist without our wonderful volunteers – everything from planning to sowing; polytunnel building to bird feeding… This time, effort and creativity enables so many people to enjoy the garden when they visit – so thank you.

IDEAS
Water: wildlife pond, water fountain, wishing well
Communication: website, research into benefits of therapeutic gardening
Themed gardens: Japanese, continents garden, desert garden
Wildlife: bird hide, wildlife pond, more bee habitats (honey and bumble), animal corner
Garden features: pizza oven, time capsule, weather station, barbecue area, bike rack, low maze
Garden development: pear trees, snowdrops, expanding the garden, another polytunnel, own plots, more summer fruit
Skills and activities: more teaching sessions, bread making, preserves, beginners lessons in gardening, kite making, tai chi and yoga, photography club, cups of tea for visitors, cooking skills
Sales / enterprise: more veg for sale, shop for produce and crafts, growing food for hospital, create a cookbook, herbal calendar
People: more patients to visit the garden, day trips for volunteers, corporate volunteering for big jobs

CHALLENGES
Access: From hospital – no proper door or path, lack of signage, car parking, better awareness
Funding: sustainability, secure future
Facilities: lack of toilet, water and electricity
Health and safety: security, hygiene, safety, steps to leaf room, better wheelchair paths
Capacity: more volunteers, staff, more space for new features

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Meet our newest Trustee

img_4813“After volunteering at the garden for a time it seemed natural to get involved with the committee as a trustee when asked if I would be interested.  This was a new experience for me having never been a trustee before.  

I have been made to feel very welcome and have been picking up on the ins and outs as I go along, feeling confident that I can give my thoughts freely and offer my help to the work of the committee where I can.  I have assisted with the opening of the new Leaf Room at the garden, purchased furnishings, discussed the itinerary and the catering needs  – all of which was very interesting and exciting.  I have been learning new skills and building on my own existing knowledge which makes it an enjoyable and a worthwhile experience which I would recommend to anyone considering getting involved Laura Robertson

We are currently looking for new members of the board – for new members with skills and experience to contribute to the planning and strategic development of the garden as it develops and who have an understanding of the role or therapeutic and community gardens.  Time commitment is generally no more than 3 hours per week, with a monthly evening meeting in Dundee.

For a full role description or for more information please contact our garden facilitator at facilitator@ninewellsgarden.org.uk or call 0754 074 6075