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I have just started work as Volunteer Coordintor for RecoveryAyr. . My role is to develop volunteer opportunities for people being supported in recovery from drug and alcohol dependence. My first job is to get the allotment back up and running after lockdown. This work draws on my skills as a Gardeniser, and develops what I learnt about addiction in my previous role as Head Gardeniser for Independence From Drugs And Alcohol Scotland on the site of an old agricultural college. We developed social enterprises with the residents, who are in recovery from addiction. Enterprises there include growing vegetables, running events, a cafe and handcrafted wooden far. The gardens were neglected and are also recovering! @RiverGardenAyr
Previously I set up and ran the Education Garden at Dumfries House- running the garden to meet food-education needs on any level, including 5000 primary children a year all getting hands-on experience. I worked with many groups here, including adults with learning difficulties, health groups, young people ar risk of disengaging with education and industry professionals. After initial set up, the garden was put into Organic conversion and was the first part of the estate to reach full Organic status.
With my partner we set up and ran, for 14 years, an Organic smallholding producing and delivering a veg box scheme throughout Glasgow and Ayrshire.
I've also worked as a care-worker for the elderly and have good experience of dementia. And I have worked as a cook in a home for children in care.
So experience in a nutshell- Organic certification, producing and selling fruit and vegetables, multiple and varied groups (either on a day-trip basis, or a long term development basis), initial set up of projects, logistics & juggling!
And now I am really excited to be learning to train future Gardenisers!!

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