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Are you looking to grow and sustain your volunteer base in our community garden setting? Does your group sometimes struggle with balancing the needs of your volunteers and the workload of running a productive garden? Is it hard to get volunteers to support the management of your community garden? If so, this event is for you.

Where: Polbeth and Calder Community Garden

When: 31st January 2019, 9.45am - 3.30pm

Run by Social Farms & Gardens in partnership with Polbeth and West Calder Community Garden (PWCG) this 'Community Learning Exchange' will case study good practice in volunteer support and development.

On the day we'll consider:

  • Communicating ‘your offer’ effectively to attract volunteers
  • Understanding the motivation of volunteering and how to manage expectations - yours and theirs!
  • How real involvement sometimes means ‘letting go’
  • Managing needs of volunteers with needs to develop your garden - being realistic about what’s achievable
  • Reflecting and reviewing best practice in your setting
  • Sharing ideas and experience of engagement at board level

Polbeth is a thriving volunteer led community garden established in 2013 with an aim to provide an opportunity for local people, schools and community groups to grow fruit and vegetables and take part in a range of outdoor leisure activities. The garden is a great example of how a combination of vision, determination and remaining in touch with the community has built a year round resource with cross.

Two of the founder members will join us for the day. Lisa and Judith will recount their volunteer journey (to date!) and the lessons they have learned along the way:

  • What motivates them and continues to do so
  • How they sustain themselves and others
  • What frameworks and support they would recommend to others, and
  • Their plans for the future.

There will be plenty of opportunity for discussion, reflection and sharing as well as the opportunity to walk round the site.

The afternoon session, led by Social Farms & Gardens, will identify central best practice tennants for volunteering and the opportunity to reflect and share on how you meet those in your setting and what you might seek to do differently. There will also be an opportunity to look at sample policies and paperwork from other sites too.

This day offers the opportunity to reflect and develop your practice in both volunteer led and funded project delivery settings.

Places are limited with a maximum of two from any group and, because of the learning exchange element to this day, priority will be given to those already working in an existing community garden setting.

Travel bursaries are available to support the cost of getting to PWCG. Please email
Where possible we encourage the use of train. PWCG is a short walk from West Calder train station.

January 31st, 2019 10:00 AM   through   3:30 PM
Polbeth & West Calder Community Garden
Parkhead Farm
Limefield Road
West Calder
EH55 8UU
United Kingdom
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