Hulme Community Garden Centre on a rainy day

Hulme Community Garden Centre is here “to serve the community”

  • Hulme Community Garden Centre increases in popularity during spring and summer
  • Volunteers cultivates stronger roots in their community

Hulme Community Garden Centre fosters a community, builds friendships and creates a family amongst their volunteers together through gardening.

The garden centre is a non-profit organisation, and they are self-sustaining.

Alyss McBirney, the retail, and customer service assistant says: “We rely on volunteers to keep it going and be able to do all the different work for the community.” She states: “We want to serve the community.”

She shares centre is really picking up this spring. Alyss says: “It suddenly gets busier in spring and summer which is great.” They are also hosting The Green Island Festival this summer.

The volunteers

23-year-old Eva Roberts has been volunteering at the garden centre for over a year. She says: “It’s been a really fruitful and beneficial 12 months.”

Eva explains the garden centre has given her a sense of community and taught her new lessons. “I wanted to just have new conversations and meet new people. I wanted to just experience what it felt like to feel held by a community.

I’ve learned loads at the garden centre. I’ve learned people can just be kind with no ulterior motive. I have a newfound appreciation for leading a more sustainable lifestyle. You don’t feel like it’s a burden or you’re making a sacrifice because we are nature.”

Eva shares volunteering “cultivates stronger roots in our community and to work together to inspire social action and change. It starts here from the ground up at Hulme Graden Community Garden Centre”.

21-year-olds, Thor Norrgard and Ben Morrison joined the volunteering team at the beginning of the year.

Ava, Ben, and Thor volunteering at the garden centre. Credit – Makenna Ali

Thor shares his experience, “It’s fun to do an activity in the day together. It’s nice to connect with community and meet new people and have an activity where it’s not about drinking”.

Ben started after he finished university, and it was his first time in life without an academic structure. He says: “I quickly realized you’ve got to sign yourself up for stuff or you would have a really unfulfilling life.

The garden centre for me gets me out of bed and does not have me staring at a screen.”

Leslie Miller from Withington has been volunteering at garden centres for over ten years. She has been at Hulme for just over a year. “It’s a new world every time you come. It’s not just about pruning it’s about learning.”

She shares: “I like it here because it’s a family and made me feel like a part of a community. It has also brought out my confidence.”

Leslie at the garden centre with the spring bulbs she potted. Credit – Makenna Ali

“It’s a good place to be because its full of everything and anything.”

Leslie Miller, Hulme Community Garden Centre Volunteer

If Leslie is not volunteering at the Hulme Community Garden Centre, she can be found volunteering at other garden centres in Manchester.

Rob Donnoly began volunteering at the garden centre seven years ago when he moved to Hulme from Stockport. He’s the second longest standing of all the volunteers.

He says: “I was just twiddling my thumbs. Volunteering is just a nice thing to do and keeps me physically active. It cheers me up by being in greenery and allowed me to start my own community garden.”

Get Involved at Hulme Community Garden Centre

Alyss shares that the garden centre is a great place to volunteer and get involved. She says: “you get peer support and make friendships.

We get all sorts of people from different backgrounds, from different ages 20 to 80 and people who are recovering from different stuff.”

The general volunteer day at the garden centre is Wednesdays. Woodworking sessions are on Tuesdays. Volunteers also get a free lunch from the garden centres café on Wednesdays!

Click here for information on how to join the family at Hulme Community Garden Centre.