Community volunteers play a key role in the delivery of the Westonbirt Community Programme, which aims to ‘support people to live better through the therapeutic benefits of Westonbirt Arboretum – improving mental health and wellbeing’.
Need to know
The programme offers a range of onsite and outreach activities to local community groups with a wellbeing and mental health focus that serve clients that may otherwise face barriers to visiting the arboretum independently. There are four main projects within the Community Programme and volunteers will be expected to be involved in all projects.
- Branching Out – 6 week outreach programme aimed at people living in residential care homes / dementia groups and includes a multi-sensory exploration of Westonbirt's tree collection.
- Nurtured by Nature – multi visit programme supporting participants to connect with nature through a range of activities from learning traditional woodland management skills, to mindfulness based activities to campfire cooking.
- Westonbirt Wellbeing - single facilitated visits, to experience the therapeutic and calming benefits trees and woodlands have to offer.
- Wild Westonbirt - aimed at local youth groups and groups with additional needs. Multi visit programme to build confidence and self-esteem in the great outdoors.
- Shelter development - a variation on the Westonbirt Wellbeing programme, in which participants also contribute to the design and construction of a new, bespoke, community shelter
As well as assisting with the preparation and delivery of the activities, a key role for the volunteer is that of building trust relationships with participants to support their wellbeing progression.