On the day staff worked across a number of sites in the horticulture field; picking strawberries, weeding, sowing seeds and digging out new vegetable beds. They were also offered the chance to taste some of the fantastic chocolates handmade on site. A delicious and hard earned lunch was provided by the Easiworks social enterprise team who are based in Easingwold.
“It was lovely to have the opportunity to volunteer alongside colleagues I don’t usually get to spend time with, to meet some inspirational young people who evidently feel their contribution is valued and appreciated, to do something collaboratively it felt would make a difference, albeit a small one, to an amazing project. I do a lot of volunteering, it’s an old cliché but I find that doing good makes me feel good. The 5K steps to the compost bin were also appreciated and needed after that lovely lunch!!” –Lizzie
“An excellent way to learn about the work of Autism plus and how inspirational they are. Every person had a can –do attitude that shone through in the work that they did and for each other. As a volunteer we got to work in teams that we don’t always work with and this gave us the opportunity to get to know one another a little more. Stella’s face when she was sowing the seeds was a beam of light that had Maggie, Lizzie and myself smiling constantly.” – Miranda
“It was such an amazing and fun experience to connect with people through becoming gardeners for a day! There is always a way to make a positive difference to both other people’s lives and our own. Volunteering is a wonderful way to do so!” – Stella
“I got a great deal from the day: as well as having the opportunity to learn about what Autism Plus do and seeing the great work going on at Gilling East, it was a very fulfilling experience which made a visible difference and felt like a worthwhile use of my time. I got a great deal from the day: as well as having the opportunity to learn about what Autism Plus do and seeing the great work going on at Gilling East, it was a very fulfilling experience which made a visible difference and felt like a worthwhile use of my time.” – Jenny
“I really enjoyed the day and it was a fantastic opportunity to get to know some of the team that I don’t usually work with in an informal setting. I volunteered because it’s always interesting to visit organisations that work directly with communities and Autism plus was no exception. The people, the location and the site were fantastic, inspirational and put a spring in my step. The work we did was physically hard but hopefully made a difference to the team there.” – Laura
“Great to spend time together doing something to have a long term impact for others. Everyone was so welcoming and we had an excellent briefing from Olly, including very clear health and safety advice to avoid accidentally slicing off toes or other accidents from happening. In terms of project work all our ‘completer finisher’ skills came to the fore. Lots of jobs to cater for all volunteers’ interests.” – Caroline
“For me as fab as it was to volunteer at such an inspirational place, I really enjoyed chatting to people I don’t normally work with and finding out a bit more about my colleagues, especially with me being new to the organisation – although that apple cake comes a close second!)” – Leah
The Autism Plus site at Park House Barns supports people with disabilities to develop greater independence. They gain new confidence, learn work based skills, obtain recognised qualifications and access employment.
As well as a chocolate factory, Park House Barns is also home to an agricultural project based on 5 acres of land and will grow salads, vegetables as well as fruit and herbs to use in the chocolates.
The barns are situated really beautiful, quiet spot and they have lots of exciting plans for developing the site further, they have just started keeping bees with plans to sell and use their own honey and now have three hives!
If you would like to find out more about volunteering opportunities near you or if you would like to find volunteers for you project please visit www.volunteeringinnorthyorkshire.org.uk.
Community First Yorkshire has launched the first dedicated online volunteering platform in North Yorkshire. Volunteering in North Yorkshire aims to make it easier for people to find opportunities across the county. The site offers a free online search directory to potential volunteers and organisations looking to recruit them.