Higher Ground Allendale has been supported by volunteers from the outset. Individuals and groups from a wide range of backgrounds and from across the community have lent us their time and skills. We are grateful to every single one of them. Here are a few…
Andy, Jane’s Dad, has been volunteering with the project since day one. He’s been a huge support, coming along weekly, rain or shine, to mow the grass, edge the paths, strim the weeds and enjoy the craic.
Andy helped construct the poly tunnels, build the pond fence and the compost bays, lent his carpentry and general fix-it skills to the repair shop in February, and has offered advice on a huge range of topics. He even refereed the snail race at the summer fair.
When I think of Higher Ground the word that comes to mind is Transformation…
…from waste ground to oasis
…from observing to becoming involved
…from tentative snips to a passion for pruning
…from hands pulling up weeds to hands enjoying the feel of the rich black earth
…from clean to happily dirty
…from muddy feet to smart wood chip paths
…from willow twigs to creative pursuits
…from working alone to working together
…from strangers to friends
…from seed to vegetable box
…from bud to beautiful
…from hard work to standing back and admiring the fruits of your labour
…from limitations to capabilities
…from eggs to delightful ducks
…from paint to inspiration
…from Sam and Jane’s idea to a valuable community resource!
These are some of the transformations I’ve noticed as I’ve pottered happily at Higher Ground this year – and it’s good to be back after such a lengthy break!
After reading about and observing the early progress and aims of Higher Ground, I started to volunteer in 2019. Initially I helped with the Thursday coffee mornings and found these to be lovely relaxed sessions with a few regular people. An opportunity for a chat, handcrafts and cakes were an added bonus. Sadly, just as the attendee numbers were increasing, the pandemic and lockdown happened.
Since the easing of restrictions, volunteering in the garden has been a great experience. I cannot claim to be an expert gardener and I occasionally need guidance around telling which plants are weeds – but those three hours a week fly past. Whether digging, weeding or planting, there is always helpful advice, support and lovely chat. Watching the ducks, fresh air, and a sense of time well spent, make it so rewarding.
I invariably feel that I’ve learnt and gained far more than I’ve given at each session. Those vegetable boxes on a Saturday are a nutritious delight and just maybe I contributed in some small way by harvesting some onions or planting spinach.