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The joy of volunteering

Four members of Dimensions’ office staff donned boots and jeans this autumn instead of their usual business attire in response to a horticultural call for help from one of our Berkshire services.

Grass needed cutting, shrubs needed pruning, brambles needed cutting back, the fence needed painting and weeds needed weeding!

The garden (underneath all of the bushes).

Despite having limited time and facing a huge task, the four volunteers got to work immediately, knowing their day jobs were waiting back at the office.

Just as gardeners Tina, Sarah, Jean and Kim started to realise the enormity of their task, an opportunity presented itself.

A pair of our volunteers disposing of just some of the garden cuttings.

As fate would have it, a local gardening firm, The Green Company, happened to be working in the garden next door.

Volunteer Tina embraced the opportunity and enlisted the professionals’ help, and the two extra good Samaritans, along with their specialist gardening machinery, sprung in to help.

Soon after, a wonderfully neat and tidy garden emerged from beneath the overgrown bushes.

Tina Woffington, Learning Services Manager and volunteer, said: “I like volunteering, the more I give the happier it makes me. I am fortunate to work in a department where my manager supports volunteering and he was happy for me to take time out of my working day to volunteer.

“I’m not a good gardener, I’m not very good at knowing a weed from a flower but what I do have is the ability to dig, prune, mow and sweep – what I am trying to say here is everyone can find something they are good at when gardening – you really don’t have to be Monty Don from Gardeners World.

“I came away from my volunteering stint happy because I’d helped transform a scruffy unkempt front garden into a tidy, looked after garden – it was so rewarding.

“The staff in service work hard supporting, they don’t have time to garden and there is no funding for a gardener – they just needed a little help and I was happy to.

The group found an extra volunteer who was taking inspiration for its own upcoming transformation.

“We did have a little bit of extra help – I was just a little bit cheeky – two guys who were gardeners wanted access to the back garden.  This is because they wanted to trim a big bush that was overhanging from a neighbour’s garden.  I happened to spot two huge lawn mowers on their truck – before I knew it I heard the words coming out of my mouth asking them: ‘If I make you a cup of tea would you run your lawn mower over the front lawn?’ And they said ‘yes’.  The guys were amazing – not only did they strim the lawn; they then mowed the grass, went around the back of the property and strimmed and clipped and cleared up after themselves – and all for a cup of tea and biscuit.  There are still lovely, lovely people in this world.”

The finished product

Spick and span – the finished product.

Fellow volunteer Jean Sole said: “We would like to thank Lee and Stuart who came to the rescue and ran the industrial sized lawn mower over the untamed little lawn.

“Making short work of the little lawn in front of the house and quickly ‘strimming’ the overgrown patch in the back garden – only took a couple of minutes of their time, but saved us hours of back breaking work!

“Your impromptu volunteering makes you a credit to your company.”


If you’re feeling inspired and would like to get stuck into some volunteering, email the team to find out what you could do: