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The nursery is run almost entirely by volunteers, from the trustees to the railway team, the woodworkers, DIY experts, gardeners, administrators, to those who just like meet up with others for a few hours to have a chat while they are sowing seeds. In fact, the nursery relies on volunteers for all its day-to-day activities. Each volunteer has their own unique qualities and skills and there are plenty of opportunities to use them. Everyone is welcome so, if you would like to donate a few hours of your time, there are several ways to help. Skills are not important as on-the-job training is given if needed.

Much of the work is on-going and includes the general maintenance and development of the nursery site and horticultural business, but there are also one-off tasks such as painting, path and building maintenance, helping with sales and open days and seasonal work such as making baskets in spring and decorations and wreaths at Christmas.

Becoming a volunteer has many benefits. You can improve your skills and confidence, do something for a worthwhile cause, improve your health and enjoy the fresh air as well as get to know new people and make friends. There is always a lot of chatter and laughter when people get together and the nursery is a good example of this.

Some people have been able to use the skills and experiences they have gained to enhance their career prospects and get a job. Whatever the reasons for volunteering at the nursery, everyone has a contribution to make and will be encouraged to do this.

The only thing we ask is that you become a member so that you are covered by the nursery’s insurance. After that, it’s up to you!

View Membership page

Volunteer work that may interest you includes:

Volunteers at the Poppleton Community Railway Nursery

  • These activities are concerned with maintaining, improving and developing the nursery infrastructure.  They include carrying out repairs to buildings and glasshouses plus repairs and maintenance work on nursery frames and beds.

  • Maintenance and improvement of the narrow gauge track, maintenance of the locomotives and renovation of the rolling stock.  There are also opportunities, once training has been completed, to drive the trains.

  • Help is also needed to assist with the running of the nursery since, to ensure its future, we need to plan succession within the leadership roles. The trustees, company chair, secretary, treasurer and minute’s secretary hold office for three years and are re-elected on a rolling program. These are not roles that you would expect to walk into without first knowing the nursery but by assisting and shadowing those in post you would gain the knowledge needed for you to take over in due course. Thus, if you have any experience of running an organization or sitting on a board of directors or trustees or have a working knowledge of the roles of company chair, secretary, treasurer or minute’s secretary within a charity you will be very welcome.

    On the management team we also have volunteers who organize volunteers, sales, advertising, publicity, display and marketing who would also welcome more assistance. New people and ideas are always appreciated!

The above is just a brief summary of available opportunities.  To explore becoming a volunteer you can either visit the nursery, to have a look round and chat about possibilities, or, if you prefer, please get in touch to arrange a specific time to visit.  Either way, we will be delighted to hear from you!