St. Margaret’s: Roger

We love to hear how these sessions are benefitting you. We know that our participants are likely to feel or experience some kind of improvement, but to listen to your stories first-hand really boosts the value of our National Lottery funded Nature4Health programme.

A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of talking to Roger at the Hope Community Garden. Roger is now retired, but has continued to volunteer his time for many years at various charities and organisations. Additionally, he spends a few hours a week at St. Margaret’s and helps this group continue to revive the space.

Roger has always had a great respect and interest for nature, yet he explained he notices everything, no matter how small, more.

“Even a small insect I now notice, and it’s not till you notice that you really understand how complex and intriguing nature is.”

Roger worked as a gardener for many years in the 1980s, and these skills have certainly come in handy when initially clearing the site. However, the Gardening4All sessions ran by Nina have broadened Roger’s knowledge.

“I’d garden for people, but I only know now how to plant and when to water certain crops. I have really learned a lot, and still continue to.”

Roger first joined these sessions after volunteering at a heritage open day at the church. He met Nina and Jen, the leaders of Hope Community Garden, and immediately said “yes!” to taking part in the 12-week programme.

Like all of our great participants, Roger’s time spent volunteering at St. Margaret’s has had its setbacks. Although, the Hope Community Garden group have definitely managed to make the most of what they could, even in times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When things started up again, we were split into two small groups each week. And when the weather was bad and we were allowed indoors, we’d spend the sessions creating flyers and collaborating ideas for the garden. My idea was to create a peace garden.”

The peace garden Roger sought for would feature snowdrops and cherry blossom, as these symbolise hope and peace. Roger wanted to create a space where peace workers would feel appreciated, as well as a space for the local community to enjoy.

Roger’s enthusiasm is reflected onto many of our participants, and it’s refreshing to see a group of friends who are all of varying ages. With this, the groups’ cooperation and friendship have holistically improved each individual – whether it be those going into a new career, or those who are finished their working years but want to feed their passion for nature.

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