June 3, 2024

Celebrating Volunteers’ Week 2024

Volunteers’ Week 2024 takes place from Monday 3 June – Sunday 9 June. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, it offers a chance to reflect on the importance of volunteering and to celebrate the incredible contributions made by volunteers to our local communities, the voluntary sector, and society as a whole.

The vital work of Horatio’s Garden would not be possible without our brilliant team of volunteers. Our 150 regular volunteers in seven gardens provide a huge amount of support to people spending time in spinal injury centres across the country. From gardening and baking cakes to fundraising and providing a friendly face, they support across many of our activities.

Yasmin, a volunteer in Horatio’s Garden London & South East, said: “When I found out that I could volunteer in the garden, I felt so excited. This was what I needed in my life. I volunteer for two other charities – they are both really special to me in different ways. But Horatio’s Garden is too. Life is made by the experiences you have; after I had my accident, I really didn’t think I’d be able to find happiness, let alone be able to volunteer for three amazing charities, contributing the way that I can. But being here and with the other charities has taught me that I definitely can. I am. I feel so fulfilled with what I can offer to Horatio’s Garden.”

Andrew, a volunteer in Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville, said: “I was badly injured with a spinal injury 42 years ago and ended up spending 67 months in Stoke Mandeville Hospital – in those days, the hospital was very, very different. I’ve been coming here to volunteer on Tuesday afternoons. People come down here and they have an opportunity to get out of the ward and undertake an activity. I think it’s very therapeutic for them because they seem to be much more happy within themselves than I remember being at that stage. I think it gives them a lot of encouragement and a lot of reassurance about what the outside world is going to be like when they go there.”

Richard, a volunteer in Horatio’s Garden South West, said: “Gardening ensures I concentrate on what I’m doing and it is such a pleasurable and mind-clearing experience. Helping to create a space where patients can hopefully benefit positively from this special garden is so important – whether it’s by weeding, watering, sweeping, planting, pruning, or simply making a patient a cup of tea and having a chat. Volunteering is so often defined as giving time to benefit others, but with Horatio’s Garden it goes both ways: volunteers benefit from being part of a great team, from learning about plants and gardening, from talking to and helping patients, and from being in a calm and nurturing space. It’s quite something.”

You can learn more about Yasmin’s volunteering story here, Andrew’s here, and Richard’s here.

We are so grateful to everybody who has offered their time and energy to Horatio’s Garden, supporting people impacted by spinal injury across the country.

Feeling inspired to become a volunteer?

To find out more about joining one of our friendly teams please click hereor email volunteer@horatiosgarden.org.uk to register your interest.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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