What’s the best way to show that you love your local community? Spending time out and about to help community projects get underway is certainly a good start! We recently sat down with Jenny, who kindly volunteer’s with Groundwork on the Better Place project in Bradford, offering her expertise in several areas and helping out wherever she can!
“I got involved with Groundwork over a year ago. I was working full time and looking to reduce my hours and free up a day a week to give something back to the community, while also learning something new.
At the time, I was working in urban management and saw first-hand how caring for and improving people’s environments positively impacted their lives. I was aware of the work Groundwork did and their motto ‘changing places, changing lives’ is one I believe in and wanted to get on board with.
I work in Bradford and come in every Tuesday to help on the Better Place project. Work here is varied; we are currently planning improvements for three greenspaces in the BD5 area, and regularly go out to do consultations with the local community, gardening sessions with 0-3 year olds, and audit local greenspaces for a research project. We also work with Groundwork’s Landscape Design team to design the spaces, and ensure they include what the community have told us they want to see happen.
Volunteering on this project has been great! I’ve learnt so much about the area I’m working in and the complexities of the environment here. I work ‘on the ground’ to deliver the planting sessions with children and families but I also get to feed into the strategic side of the project. I think my proudest moment on the project is yet to come. This summer some of the schemes we’ve been working on will be finished and open for people to use, and I’m really looking forward to seeing them being enjoyed by the communities here.
I would say to anyone thinking about volunteering to go for it! It’s a really great way to explore different career paths, get involved in activities happening in your local area, meet new people and make a positive contribution to society.”