“Life is like a tree, the branches go in all different directions but your roots will always stay in place”, Sheila Thayer.
What is your job about?
The Tree Life Centre is based on Grimsbury Community Farm in Kingswood and is managed by The Conservation Volunteers. We currently have a group of dedicated Volunteers, from all walks of life who visit regularly to help maintain the site, whilst learning new skills along the way. They also gain valuable social skills, improve their confidence and wellbeing and meet new people. Most of our trees, wild flowers and herbs are grown from seed and nurtured in an organic environment, in order to then be used either in local community projects or sold to the public.
What issues do you address?
- Isolation of children and their connection with nature
- Help people to find further work in this area
- Help some people with mental health issues
- Key volunteers receive further support and training to teach others
- Extremely important for people to be outdoors
What moved you to take action?
I have always been a people person, my father was a keen gardener and I used to pick my own vegetables and grow my own. I think this helped me to be nurturing and develop empathy.
What are the obstacles that you had to overcome?
- Working with volunteers
- Working in a way which I feel comfortable with
- Working as the only member of paid staff
- The weather in the UK and keeping volunteers coming in during this time
What helped keep you going during hard times?
I just think it will always be ok, whatever happens is for the right reason, and plans don’t always go to plan. Life is like a tree, the branches go in all different directions but your roots will always stay in place.
When did you first become interested in environmental issues?
My whole life. My father was a keen gardener and I used to pick my own vegetables and grow my own.
On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being very happy) where would you rate how you feel about your life?