Can you describe a typical volunteer? Are they male, female, young or old? Are they brunette, blonde or even follicly challenged? Are they tall, short, jolly or serious? Do they live close by or far away, do they come to Minsteracres weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually? Do they live alone or with family, do they work or are they retired? The answer of course is YES to all the above. Thankfully for Minsteracres there isn’t such a thing as a typical volunteer.

How lucky we are to have such a strong, lively and interesting team (or perhaps we should say teams) of volunteers, all of whom bring individual skills and personality – just exactly what is needed to help make Minsteracres the unique place it is.

Over the years the need for more volunteers in more areas has increased and it is a fact of life that folks have other things going on from time to time and so may need to take a break or even to move on. There has been a recent small but not insignificant flurry of interviews and, once DBS checks are secured, there will be new faces in the dining room, Peace Garden, outreach team and even one hardy but enthusiastic soul in conservation. In the summer we are looking forward to welcoming Clara and Greta who come to us from Germany as part of their school volunteering programme. So there is some buoyancy BUT we are always looking for new recruits.

The dining room and housekeeping groups are always particularly busy and the signs are that this will only increase this year. Outreach is still below strength and people who are particularly empathetic and who possess very special skills are needed urgently. Conservation is reduced in numbers and whilst requiring a level of fitness, under the correct guidance, would also suit those seeking to build their stamina.

We would welcome enquiries from anyone who thinks they might be able to give some of their time.