Garden Volunteer – Seasonal Waterer (MERL)

Garden Volunteer – Seasonal Waterer 


The Museum of English Rural Life, 6 Redlands Road, Reading, RG1 5EX 

Volunteer Shift: 

  • Shifts are available on various days during the week (these are weather dependent) 

  • As close to 9am (10am at weekends) or 4pm as possible  

Why we want you 

  • Watering Volunteers play a vital part in helping to maintain The MERL garden, ensuring that the garden survives periods of hot weather and drought.   
    A key part of this role is watering the planting undertaken by our Garden Volunteers and Community Groups, ensuring that they have something to harvest as a result of their efforts! 

What you will be doing 

  • Watering the Volunteer and Community areas of the garden – these include raised beds, planted pots and wheelbarrows and vegetable plots 

  • This will involve the use of hoses and/or watering cans and training will be given 


This role will suit you if you are 

  • Are an “outdoors person” and are enthusiastic about plants and gardening  

  • Are able to carry watering cans and hoses around the garden 

  • Are committed to using water as sustainably as possible and can attend either at 9am when the building opens (preferred) or at 4pm before the garden and building closes at 5pm 

  • Aware of the need to follow Health and Safety procedures when watering in a public garden 

  • Happy to work independently - the Assistant Volunteer Coordinator (Garden Projects) may not be on site during your watering session 

  • Live locally and might be able to cover for other waterers whilst they are away, or do an additional session in periods of exceptionally hot weather 


What you will gain in return  


  • Work outdoors in a peaceful setting 

  • Learn about the projects taking place with our Volunteers and Community Groups and see them develop! 

  • Learn new gardening skills and/or utilise existing ones 

  • Get to know staff and volunteers from The MERL team 

  • Support from the Assistant Volunteer Coordinator (Garden Projects)  

  • A free tea, coffee or hot chocolate from The MERL café during your shift 

How much time will it take up?  

Watering generally takes about 30 minutes to an hour (depending on areas to water and availability of hoses)  

We do ask that you let Cathy, Assistant Volunteer Coordinator (Garden Projects), know in advance if you cannot attend.

What do I need to wear? 

This role involves working outside, sometimes during extremely hot weather.   

Please wear suitable sturdy footwear and ensure you protect yourself from the sun. 


Who will I report to? 

Cathy Smith - Assistant Volunteer Coordinator (Garden Projects),  Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 9am to 12.45pm.   
In an emergency or for notification of absence outside these times we will ask you to call 0118 378 8661 to ensure a message is passed on. 

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 Garden Volunteer – Seasonal Waterer in your ‘Interests’ by 9am on Friday 30th June. 

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 Garden Volunteer – Seasonal Waterer in your ‘Interests’ by 9am on Friday 30th June. 

Matching to the Role 

To help us select our volunteers, we will look through all the application/ registration 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.