Green fingered University of Winchester volunteers help transform charity outdoor spaces

29 Jul 2022
Staff volunteers at the Broadlands Group RDA

Volunteers from the University of Winchester have helped two local charitable organisations to transform their outside spaces for the summer.

Osborne School in Winchester and the Broadlands Group RDA both welcomed teams of enthusiastic University staff members to tackle a range of tasks outdoors for a day.

Six volunteers sitting on a bench in the woodland garden at Osborne School

Photo: Staff volunteers at Osborne School take a break 

At the Broadlands Group in Romsey, 14 staff volunteers from the University's Careers and Opportunities Hub cut back hedging, cleared pathways and painted fences on the horse field, under the guidance of the Group's Nigel Hoppitt and Tony Williams, while learning about the organisation's work.

Nigel Hoppitt, Chair, Broadlands Group RDA, said: "The University of Winchester team were brilliant: they worked hard and enjoyed themselves making a difference in our beautiful surroundings.

"With a large busy centre, there is always a long list of jobs and having a great team of enthusiastic volunteers makes light work of them. Protecting the new fencing wasn't critical but will add several years to their life down the road. Following this successful day, we look forward to building a closer relationship with the University and welcoming more enthusiastic and fun volunteers back to Broadlands."Staff volunteers working in the woodland garden at Osborne School

Photo: working in the woodland garden at Osborne School

Volunteer Kate Rooney said: "It was a privilege to join the volunteering day at Broadlands Group. I found it a joyful experience and wonderful to meet and chat with some of their regular volunteers who were truly inspirational."

"I absolutely loved our volunteering day at Broadlands Group," added fellow volunteer Annabel O'Keefe. "It was wonderful to spend time with colleagues outdoors in a beautiful rural setting and work collectively together as a team to help improve the facilities at this amazing centre. A memorable and lovely way to end the academic year."

At Osborne School in Winchester, six volunteers from the University's Faculty of Health and Wellbeing helped to maintain the gardens and forest area.

The morning was spent clearing and trimming areas in the Forest and sweeping the path to keep the area safe and well maintained for pupils. In the afternoon, they moved on to the garden, painting potting benches and generally tidying up.

Volunteer Maisie James said: "Volunteering at Osborne School was great! It was lovely to hear how our work would benefit the children and how our contribution will make a difference for the pupils. I thoroughly enjoyed the day."

Nina Lazarski, Volunteering and Community Projects Officer at the University of Winchester, who co-ordinated the volunteering effort, said: "Our volunteers had a fantastic time volunteering with both organisations, but most importantly their achievements are making a positive difference and will be enjoyed by everyone at the Broadlands Group RDA and Osborne School.

"Here at the University, we actively encourage staff and students to volunteer in the local community in which they live and work and look forward to forging a closer relationship with organisations which need support."Two volunteers painting a fence

Photo: painting fences at the Broadlands Group RDA

The volunteers from the University's Careers and Opportunities Hub, who worked at the Broadlands Group RDA were: Emma Biggs; Melinda Hawtin-Burns; Mike Head; Shelley Hitchin; Maisha Islam; Nina Lazarski; Tom Lowe; Grace Nash Williams; Annabel O'Keeffe; Alice Parker; Katie Prior; Kate Rooney; Zoe Sipsma, and Sophie Wright.

The volunteers from the University's Faculty of Health and Wellbeing who worked at Osborne School were: Penelope Bates; David Darrock; Lisa Guest; Maisie James; Adam Quinney, and Kath Whiting. 

Further quotes from volunteers about their experience of the day:

Adam said: "I really enjoyed my day of volunteering at Osbourne School. The staff and pupils were so welcoming and the results of our work were immediately obvious; a very rewarding way to spend a day!"

Dave said: "I had a lovely day volunteering at Osborne School - much more enjoyable than a day in the office! It felt great helping to tidy up the woodland trail, something that the kids will love!"

Kath said: "The Health and Wellbeing admin team had a great time volunteering at Osborne School. The staff and pupils really friendly and appreciative and we enjoyed gardening and painting in the sunshine!"

Photo at the top of the page: University staff volunteers at the Broadlands Group RDA.

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