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Volunteers find ‘sense of purpose’ at Newtown gardening project

Many retirees find themselves looking for meaningful and fulfilling ways to spend their time.

A popular choice is volunteering, with its added benefits of building confidence, trying new things and giving back to the community.

Since retiring, Diane Thomas has thoroughly enjoyed her time volunteering at Cultivate’s community garden in Newtown. She lends a hand to the project and learns about vegetable growing and food production along the way.

Cultivate is a community-run co-operative, which aims to create a resilient local food economy. Its community garden, allotments, shop, deli and café attract people of all ages – with teenagers up to those in their late 80s getting involved.


Diane said: “It’s great to get out in the fresh air and meet people from all different backgrounds. 

“It gives people who are lonely, or maybe struggling with their mental health, a sense of purpose.”

Volunteer Co-ordinator, Mel Chandler, said: “Cultivate is about growing people – people’s confidence, self-esteem and skills through free opportunities for adults to get involved in gardening and growing.

“All are welcome to join our sociable weekly sessions to learn more about gardening,  growing and even cooking skills.”

PRIME Cymru also specialises in boosting people’s confidence – our free training is available to anyone who is out of work, but wants to learn new skills for their personal or professional development. We offer volunteers at Cultivate the chance to gain their First Aid, Food Hygiene and Health & Safety qualifications for free. 

Development Officer for North Powys, Janet Davies, said: “Our free courses enable volunteers to continue their learning pathway, developing new skills that can be used in everyday life.”

Diane now plans on completing her First Aid certificate with PRIME Cymru. She said: “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and now I finally have the chance to do it.”

If you would like to add new skills to your repertoire, get in touch with PRIME Cymru – call 01550 721813 or email enquiries@primecymru.co.uk. We can help you to find volunteer positions in your area, or sign you up for one of our free qualifications. 

Cultivate relies on funding to continue their valuable sessions. If you would like to learn more or get involved, please contact Mel Chandler on melc@cultivate.uk.com or call 07485 712701.

Grow, Cook, Share project funded by PAVO’s Social Regeneration Grant



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