Volunteer gardener encourages others to have a go for Doncaster charity

A Doncaster man who volunteers in the gardens of a local historical house is encouraging other people to follow in his footsteps and give volunteering a go.
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Tom McKnight, from Armthorpe, has been a volunteer at Flourish Enterprises at St Catherine’s House in Woodfield Park, Balby, since 2017 and enjoys every minute.

With a career in training and personnel Tom used to work with Doncaster CVS as a training coordinator for wellness and health groups across Doncaster. When the company closed, he needed a new direction and found it in the form of a Wellness for Work course at Flourish Enterprises.

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Tom said: “At 64 I didn’t fancy going back to work, but I knew I wanted to do something. I got to know Lisa Wilkin who was setting up a group called Friends of Woodfield Park and she mentioned that Flourish was looking for people to help with its Wellness to Work course.

Tom McKnight, Volunteer at Flourish.Tom McKnight, Volunteer at Flourish.
Tom McKnight, Volunteer at Flourish.

“I got in touch and met one of Flourish’s occupational therapists and started volunteering on the course. The main aim of the course is to get people back into work. It gave me the opportunity to give something back. I was able to use my training to help people with their CVs and interviewing skills.

“After the course had finished, I wondered what else I could do. I noticed the beautiful gardens and asked if I could help in the gardens and have been there ever since.

“Volunteering gives me a sense of a purpose. I thoroughly enjoy coming here. It gives me the opportunity to do something completely different to my other activities and to get involved in a place as wonderful as this.

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“For me volunteering is rewarding, satisfying and gives me a sense of purpose. I would suggest going along and speaking to the people at Flourish. Anyone coming here as a volunteer are met by a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. You can have a look around and a taster to see if you enjoy it and get to know the people. Then decide if you like it.”

For those who are considering volunteering and not sure where to start can contact Flourish by email [email protected] or call 03000 212000.

Watch this short film of Tom talking about his volunteering role at this link https://youtu.be/BKet4yGQIgw.

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