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Hazel's Volunteer Story
Approximately 18 years ago I was contacted by Cherry Dickson, the manager of the Volunteer Centre in Rainey Street. She asked me if I would be willing to come and teach Floral Art and Gardening in the Centre. I have a City and Guilds qualification in Floral Art and Design, a teaching degree and was a member of a gardening club. She thought that I would be an ideal volunteer especially as I was used to giving talks to church groups etc. I readily agreed to volunteer to teach young adults in the Centre.
A full room of young adults attended the first meeting which became a planning session for what the attendees wanted to do during the sessions and we laid out a weekly plan covering the basics of Floral Art and Design and we planned what we would cover leading to Easter and St Patrick’s day.
The young people were also able to attend Floral Art demonstrations by myself in the Bridewell. These demos were funded by The Magherafelt Arts Trust and gave them an insight into the more complicated Floral Art arrangements. It was a joy to see them complete the 12-week course successfully. The course was the same as Level 1 City and Guilds or NVQ as it is now known. We also visited gardens and florists’ shops. We even had a small garden at the back of the Centre where we grew herbs and the young people were able to take some of the plants they had grown home.
With the Volunteer Centre’s move to InVOLve House my role changed and I now volunteer with The Base to produce Floral arrangements for special occasions such as Christmas, Easter etc. I have really enjoyed volunteering over the last 18 years.