Mike Thain is our Volunteers Organiser and Co-ordinator. The calls go out from Diane, our Hon. Secretary, to all members by email, giving the date, time and place to meet. This work can range from preparing the venue for an Event – usually food, tables and chair layouts and, when appropriate, positioning banners – to weeding, normally on the first Saturday of the month for about an hour and a half, to our twice yearly taking out, composting, digging over and then re-planting in May and October and, occasionally, to heavier work like building or repairing the planters themselves.
When we 'take out', the 'old' perennial plants are always available to be taken home for re-use by the volunteer and, naturally, the more people who help, the quicker the job is completed. For any non-member who notices what is going on and decides to give a hand or a member trying it for the first time, it is also a great initial way to meet like-minded people in a common cause.
Volunteering can also take the form of helping at Events such as making up a table at our Quiz Night or assisting at our Stall at the Christmas Market.
Over the years we have created or purchased some 33 planters of widely varying sizes and materials for various locations around the village. The total planter top surface area is about 123 sq m. Most are for annual flower displays in the High Street and, in tubs, elsewhere but four are mainly for daffodils and wildflowers (the Drum) or shrubs and perennials (the Puddingstone, Nicholls Close and the long bed opposite the Fire Station).
Each May and October the existing annuals are seasonally changed and the planters replanted. Those volunteers working on taking out the end-of-season plants are welcome to keep the plants that will re-bloom the following year and we also distribute or sell the bulbs.
In the two sessions of Spring and Autumn we normally plant, including the 14 hanging baskets, some 1,500 bulbs and 3,000 plants.