Volunteer Meeting – May 2013

Our First Wednesday Volunteer Meeting!  22nd May

Present: Lucy, Nikki, Ian, Bob, Dougie, Pete, Julia, Kristen


  • Why we are meeting
  • Working towards our vision and mission statement and what we want to see at the garden
  • Why people come to the garden (outcomes)

Lucy talked about why we’d had so few meetings, how decisions were made that affected the working of the Wednesday group (by her usually after ad hoc discussions with volunteers).  Other decisions about the larger infrastructure issues, fundraising, focus of the garden are made in conjunction with the management committee who meet every 4-6 weeks (made up of Lucy, Pete, Brian the treasurer, Neil the head of the allotment association, Tim Foster plot holder and organiser of the edible forest, and Clare fundraised for the project).   Also is was pointed out that other groups use the allotment in the week – school pond dipping groups, the after school clubs, volunteers from Kings Weston School , Headway, Bristol City College.  This began a discussion on the place of this group to make decisions.  The scope of the group is to make decisions about the workings of Wednesday and Saturdays

In a go round it was noted

  • it would be good to know what other groups are coming in and when.
  • voiced concerns for the future as the current funding stops in March 2014 (we are looking for more funding).
  • said it was good to have a worker  to hold the project together
  • It was nice to come and have it all organised and just get on with the gardening
  • Suggestions made about income generation, potential for a market stall
  • We need to improve ways of communication between the groups

Vision – we talked about what we would have at our ‘ideal’ allotment day

  • Everyone getting on from different backgrounds
  • A shelter that could keep us warm
  • Wandering through the edible forest and nibbling foods
  • A better way of knowing what needed to done and where
  • Working in companionship
  • Experimenting with new, exciting vegetables
  • Busy but not too many people
  • Fixed tea breaks and lunch times

Action taken : new time for tea breaks and lunch time decided to be trialled 11am, 1pm and 3pm.

We had a discussion on why people volunteered/how they benefitted from volunteering at the garden with a view to developing a template to one on one discussions with all volunteers so we can better ensure people’s needs are being met

What was put forward :  enjoyment, exercise, improved mental wellbeing, being in an inclusive space, getting free organic vegetables, eating more vegetables, growing confidence about growing, cooking more vegetables, fresh air, being out in nature, sharing knowledge, helping the environment, supporting each other.

These were put into categories and it was agreed that Lucy would write into 5 or 6 outcomes.

We discussed whether or not it would be a open group that anyone could join.  Some concerns voiced about people who didn’t invest much time or energy coming along to make decisions but it was decided that we should try a few more open sessions, also it was important to have them at different times so people who came in the afternoon could have a say.

Next meeting 19th June 1:30

Things to discuss :           

  • Better communication
  • Decision making
  • Mission statement

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