Chelsea Physic Garden


As the oldest Botanical Garden in London, now is an exciting time to join the Chelsea Physic Garden, in our 350th anniversary in 2023. 

Chelsea Physic Garden has existed on the banks of the Thames since 1673, delivering its founding mission to demonstrate the importance of medicinal and herbal plants to the well-being of humankind.

We have volunteers in lots of different areas:

  • Gardening
  • Administration
  • Visitor Experience and Garden Tours
  • Learning
  • Fundraising and events

Chelsea Physic Garden is an inclusive recruiter. We welcome applications from everyone, including members of the LGBTQIA+ community, people with disabilities, neurodiverse people, and people from all ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds.

You don’t need to have volunteered before or visited Chelsea Physic Garden or any heritage site/garden.

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Volunteering Opportunities

Gardening

Gardening Volunteer Roles

 

Please complete an application form to register your interest in this role.

Learning

Learning Community Volunteer

 

About the opportunity

This is a rewarding opportunity to support the Learning team increase community access to Chelsea Physic Garden. We are looking for new volunteers who want to help us help adults with support needs become more integrated in the Garden and their local community.

This is a great role if you have experience working or are looking to gain experience working with adults at risk, senior groups, or young people. This is also a fantastic opportunity to make a significant impact on people’s lives. You would be volunteering alongside experienced staff to support the smooth running of community gardening sessions and workshops, both on and off site. Our sessions are primarily with adults but occasionally we run sessions with teenagers.

What will you be doing?

You’ll help with:

  • Setting up and down session spaces (including refreshments, furniture, and materials)
  • Welcoming participants
  • Supporting facilitators during sessions by handing out materials and supervising participants 1:1 or in small groups
  • Creating a warm, friendly and safe atmosphere for the participants

How much time is involved?

  • Two weekdays per month. Very rarely on weekends.
  • Shift lengths are typically 3-4 hours
  • You can volunteer for as many or as few as you’d like
  • Callouts for shifts will be sent out up to a month in advance

We encourage a minimum of 3 months for our roles so you get the most out of the opportunity and so the Garden and our sessions are supported. We are happy to discuss individual flexibility if you need.


We’re looking for someone who:

  • Likes volunteering in a team
  • Enjoys helping others
  • Are empathetic and compassionate
  • Is friendly and non-judgemental

Will I be reimbursed for expenses?

Volunteers will receive out-of-pocket travel expenses up to the value of £15.

What you get from volunteering with Chelsea Physic Garden:

  • Role-specific training
  • Support and development opportunities throughout your time with us
  • Discounts in our Garden shop and onsite café
  • A fortnightly newsletter letting you know what’s going on in the Garden
  • A series of events to say thank you
  • Knowledge and understanding of how a charity and Learning team operates

Interested? Please see below for how to apply and further details:

 

Chelsea Physic Garden is an inclusive organisation. We welcome applications from everyone, including members of the LGBTQIA+ community, people with disabilities, neurodiverse people, and people from all ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds. You don’t need to have volunteered before or visited Chelsea Physic Garden or any heritage site/garden.

 

Some applicants will be progressed to attend an informal discussion via Zoom or Microsoft Teams on the afternoons of 17 and 24 April, which will include the Learning and Engagement Officer and the Learning and Engagement Coordinator. 

Please note that this role will require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and we may need to ask you about any unspent convictions as part of our duty of care.

Stewarding

Volunteer Steward

About the Opportunity

Volunteer Stewards are ambassadors for Chelsea Physic Garden. In this role, you will engage with visitors in the Garden to ensure we are a welcoming space for all. As you get to know the collection you may want to develop your skills to deliver spotlight talks about our amazing Glasshouse collections.

You will also help the Visitor Experience and Horticulture teams by safeguarding our botanical collections and reporting any health and safety incidents.

This role helps bring the Garden to life and enhances our Visitor Experience programme. It is a brilliant opportunity to develop your communication skills and enjoy learning about the history of London’s oldest botanical garden.

Role activities

  • Welcoming all visitors to Chelsea Physic Garden and helping with wayfinding
  • Sharing information about our plant collections and the history of the Garden
  • Helping visitors with general enquiries and questions about plants or by referring them to a member of staff or our website, such as how to become a Friend of the Garden
  • Supporting visitors to understand what to expect in a visit to a botanic garden, for example, some of our plants are poisonous and plant cuttings can't be taken home
  • Providing a physical presence in the Garden and helping to report any concerns to the Duty Manager
  • In the event of a fire evacuation, this role will help guide visitors from the Garden to the assembly point.

How much time is involved?

This role is available from Sunday to Friday all year round. The hours are either 11-1.30 or 1.30 to 4pm. We encourage you to volunteer a day a week for 6 months in order to get the most out of the role. We are happy to discuss flexibility with you and there may be opportunities for you to get involved in other volunteer roles as well.


We’re looking for someone who:

  • Is happy to talk to visitors from all different backgrounds
  • Is interested in learning about plants, history and botanical science
  • Is reliable and happy to attend training
  • Is happy to work both independently and as part of a team
  • Is willing to volunteer outdoors, in and comfortable standing for periods of time.

Will I be reimbursed for expenses?

Volunteers will be reimbursed for out-of-pocket travel expenses up to the value of £15 per shift.

What you get from volunteering with Chelsea Physic Garden:

  • A dedicated Volunteer Manager and a named supervisor who will support you in your role
  • Role-specific training
  • Discounts in our on-site Café and in our shop
  • Opportunity to develop transferable skills
  • A fortnightly newsletter letting you know what’s going on in the Garden

What else do you need to know?

You will need to be aged over 18 to volunteer in this role.

This is an outdoors-based role based at Chelsea Physic Garden.

Please note that this role will require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and we may need to ask you about any unspent convictions as part of our duty of care.

 

How to apply and further details

To apply please complete application form that you can find here :Application Form

We welcome applicants from all sections of the community, as we want to reflect the diverse demographics of London residents. You don’t need to have volunteered before or visited Chelsea Physic Garden or any heritage site/garden.

We will invite you an informal chat about the role either in person or via zoom before you start volunteering. This chat will include the Volunteer Development Manager, Katie Weston and the Assistant Visitor Experience Manager. We won’t be able to offer informal discussions to everyone who applies but we will provide feedback on applications if it is requested. 

 

Please contact Katie Weston, Volunteer Development Manager, via kweston@chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk if you have any questions about the role or need the application form in a different format. If you have an access need you would like to let us know about at this stage, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any questions.