Gardening Volunteer - Wednesday Morning (MERL)

Gardening Volunteer at The MERL



The Museum of English Rural Life on Wednesdays from 10am to 12pm

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Why we want you

Garden Volunteers play a welcome part in helping to maintain The MERL garden, ensuring that it remains attractive and accessible for our community gardeners and visitors.

What you will be doing

  • Caring for edible and ornamental areas – planting, weeding, watering, cutting back etc
  • Composting
  • Seed sowing and potting on
  • Leaf sweeping and keeping paths clear of weeds
  • Maintaining hand tools and keeping equipment tidy and clean

This role will suit you if you are

  • Are an “outdoors person” (although there are opportunities for indoor work if the weather is extreme)
  • Enthusiastic about plants and gardening
  • Able to work as part of a team
  • You will get the most from this role if you are able to attend regularly and see the results of your efforts

What you will gain in return  


  • Work outdoors in a usually peaceful setting
  • Learn new gardening skills and/or utilise existing ones
  • Support from Assistant Volunteer Coordinator (Garden Projects) and other volunteers in the team
  • Meet new people with a similar interest in gardening
  • A free hot drink at break-time

How much time will it take up?

You will join a team of volunteers on a Wednesday morning from 10:00am-12noon.
Whilst it is not essential to attend every week, we do ask that you let the
Assistant Volunteer Coordinator (Garden Projects) know in advance if you cannot attend. The Garden Volunteers meet all year round. 

What do I need to wear?

Suitable clothing and footwear is required for outside work, throughout the year, in a range of weather. Sturdy trainers, wellies or walking boots are necessary and we request that you bring your own gardening gloves. 


Who will I report to?

The sessions are led by Cathy Smith - Assistant Volunteer Coordinator (Garden Projects), who will allocate tasks and support you on the day.


To apply

New prospective volunteers - If you are not already registered to volunteer with Museums Partnership Reading, please register on our volunteering platform, ensuring you tick the box next to Gardening Volunteer (MERL) in your ‘Interests’ by Monday 15th Jan at 9am.

Existing volunteers - If you are already registered to volunteer with Museums Partnership Reading, please log in to the volunteering platform, click on My Profile, select the ‘Interests’ section, and ensure you tick the box next to Gardening Volunteer (MERL) in your ‘Interests’ by Monday 15th Jan at 9am.


Matching to the Role

When there is a vacancy for this role, to help us select our volunteers, we will look through all the application forms of those interested, and we draw up a shortlist of those who most closely match our ideal requirements.

We will invite a limited number of prospective volunteers to attend a trial session to give you an idea of what to expect from the role and have an informal chat to discuss the role. References will be sought prior to commencement of the role.