Volunteering can get you out into the great outdoors

Heather Arnatt, area co-ordinator for Voluntary Services Centre in West Lindsey
Heather Arnatt, area co-ordinator for Voluntary Services Centre in West Lindsey

Now that the spring shoots are starting to appear it’s time to start thinking about getting outdoors again, writes Heather Arnatt.

And Voluntary Centre Services (VCS) in Gainsborough can help on that front.

If you’re finding yourself wanting to get back out into nature, or thrive on being able to get your hands dirty and do something practical, perhaps an outdoor volunteering role is for you.

Outdoor volunteering opportunities could include helping on an allotment, maintaining a garden at an historic property, helping with outdoor conservation projects or even getting stuck in with some outdoor DIY activities.

There is a huge range of outdoor opportunities in and around Gainsborough.

Local organisation The Conservation Volunteers, or TCV as it is more commonly known, involves volunteers in its weekly projects which take place in and around the Gainsborough area.

The group’s work parties take place on Tuesday and Thursday each week and volunteers can turn up for every session, or just go along once every now and then when it suits.

It’s a really flexible opportunity.

If you prefer a slower pace of gardening, you might like to help at some of the local care homes here in Gainsborough.

Many of them have beautiful gardens which need to be maintained for the residents throughout the year, and you could end up helping to plant new flower beds, create hanging baskets or just simply cutting the grass occasionally.

There are also opportunities to get involved at the local parks in Gainsborough, including Mercer Wood, Ashcroft Road Park and Richmond Park, all of which have regular group meetings for the wider community to get involved.

Further afield, Bransby Horses Rescue and Welfare has several acres of land that needs to be maintained for visitors, as well as the possibility of developing allotments on the site and getting groups involved with learning about gardening.

Volunteering outdoors doesn’t just help your community.

You may find there are added benefits for you too.

Studies show you can burn up to 400 calories with an hour of light gardening, and there are benefits for your mental health too.

You could even make new friends within the local community.

Why not take the first step and visit your local volunteer centre to see if there’s a role for you?

You never know, you might just be surprised by what is on offer.

If you’re involved in a green project in the local area there is now a dedicated green spaces forum that meets every other month at the Guildhall in Gainsborough, offering opportunities to build partnerships, find out about funding and work together towards VCS’ summer event.

All groups are welcome.

To get in touch, simply pop in to the Guildhall at Marshall’s Yard, Monday to Friday between 10am and 4pm and ask for the volunteer centre.

Alternatively, you can call 01427 613470 or visit the website at www.voluntarycentreservices.org.uk