Become A Volunteer
Dilston Physic Garden is made possible through the constant support of volunteers. Find out how you can become a part of the physic garden team and volunteer with us in Northumberland.
We’re always seeking committed volunteers in a variety of roles. Volunteers are fundamental to the physic garden and carry out a central role in plant care, the physic shop, fundraising and more!
How YOU can help us to achieve our mission
Many volunteers enjoy the essential gardening that helps keep all the 700 or so medicinal plants healthy through the season for visitors, groups and schools to see. But we also need help in other key roles which are essential to making the physic garden sustainable into the future to achieve the charity’s mission, some of which can be carried out remotely.
- Cultivating, caring and developing the potted plants.
- Look after visitor, admissions and sales in the Physic Garden Shop.
- Harvesting and drying herbs.
- Packing teas, tinctures, creams, etc.
- Odd maintenance jobs.
- Providing physic garden tours.
- School visit communications and management.
- Social media communications & marketing.
- Photography and videography.
Managing the physic shop and stock.
- Volunteer and work experience management.
- Monitoring & Evaluation.
- Book-keeping and accounting.
If you would like to learn more about volunteering at the garden or to join our friendly team then email email@example.com to receive further details and an application form.
'Volunteer at Dilston' by Julie Paddon
“It’s Wednesday and how lucky I feel to arrive for work at the Garden. I open the main gate and step into peace and tranquility. Walking up the path, I stop at the bench to read this month’s poem, look up at the trees and marvel at the leaf shapes and change in the colours. Continuing on to the Herbology House I take in what’s new in flower, the seed heads, the fragrances and take a few deep relaxing breaths. My mood lifts as I take in the beauty of it all and I know that today will be a good day.
Being a “Tea volunteer” shouldn’t be confused with serving up refreshments for the visitors – as had been my first thought! Using the established tea recipes we mix up the herbs and spices that go into the range of botanical teas available in the shop. Nic and Holly ensure we have all the ingredients to hand and are available to offer advice and take part in the all important ‘taste test’ that each tea must pass before it’s deemed ready for packing and sealing.
No one day is like the other, it’s not all about tea. Some days we harvest herbs for drying, or prepare tinctures and herbal shots for steeping and when they are ready we are straining and bottling. There are wonderful organic aromatherapy oils to make uplifting sprays and rich creams. Everything is natural, every product has a purpose and has beneficial properties and everything is made with care. Once labelled and checked, then it’s ready to take to the shop, an Aladdin’s cave of wonderful aromas and potions, it’s a rare occasion that I don’t come away with some new product to try.
It’s a privilege to be just a small part of this wonderful place, to enjoy a day filled with creativity, learning, laughter and the good company of the DPG team.”
Get muddy to get happy! A study at the University of Colorado showed the harmless bacteria Mycobacterium vaccae, found in soil, may act as a natural antidepressant (anti-inflammatory) in the lab. The bacteria create an immune response that affects the release and metabolism of serotonin in parts of the brain controlling cognitive function and mood. So don’t scrub those carrots and potatoes so hard! And encourage children to get muddy and increase their microbiome.
And, as we now know, simply being outdoors getting vitamin D, the physical act of gardening and being with like-minded people are all good for our mental wellbeing – so what’s stopping you?