There are hundreds of people working as volunteers across Burngreave, providing vital support for both groups and the people that they support, as well as learning new skills and making new friends and making a big difference to their community. Here, Catherine explains what she does and why.
Story and photo by Deborah Blencowe
SAGE Greenfingers is a local charity supporting adults with mental health needs through horticultural therapy and is based at Grimesthorpe Allotments on Grimesthorpe Road.
They also run separate women only singing group at the Welcome Centre on Nottingham Street.
Catherine Gaze has been volunteering with SAGE Greenfingers since 2012. She supports the women only Monday group by helping and encouraging group members to get involved with various gardening activities.
“It’s local to me, so I don’t have to travel far. I enjoy gardening with other people and volunteering at SAGE gave me the opportunity to do that and be part of a group. I’ve also had the chance to learn more about gardening and develop my own skills.
“It’s lovely being part of the allotment and watching the seasons change. I’ve also got to know other people at the group; some of the members have been coming since I started seven years ago.
“Apart from being at the allotment, volunteers also get the opportunity to go out on volunteer social evenings, go on group trips and take part in training.
Large raised beds ready for planting new crops in the spring, lots of strawberry plants ,and beautiful fig, apple and pear trees. The fruit and vegetables are grown by group members and cooked in a meal which is shared at the end of every session. There are craft activities that take place as well as the gardening elements. The allotment also provides the opportunity for mixed sessions to attend and do their work on Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays 11:00am – 14:00pm.
For any further information on the charity and how to get involved in volunteering, please contact Emma Msigiti on 0114 273 7718 or have a look at the website www.sageshefefield.org.uk