Cherry Tree Nursery Volunteers
At their request, the nursery workers are called volunteers. This emphasises the fact that Cherry Tree is an independent charity, and not part of the mental health services. People attend on a voluntary basis, because they choose to do so.
Around 150 volunteers are on the nursery books at any one time, coming to us from many sources, including the Dorset & Hampshire NHS Trusts, and the local Employment Service and volunteer bureau. We also accept self referrals.
The majority of the volunteers work in the wide variety of horticultural tasks required to ensure the daily running of the nursery. Tasks vary from weeding, potting and taking cuttings, to construction and irrigation work, stocktaking, working in the plant sales area or delivering plants to customers. Others make the tea and coffee and do domestic duties, or work in the office, invoicing, producing plant labels, writing letters, and sending out mail-shots. The work is organised, supervised and allocated by the staff, but some volunteers progress to supervising and teaching others. We are also assisted by a group of Friends of Cherry Tree.
They build up very close friendships by working together in groups. Alone they cannot cope, but together they are strong.
Some people stay for many years, while others move on fairly quickly, some returning to work, others going to college or taking up other voluntary work.