Tony, Food Growing Volunteer


Tony is part of a small team of volunteers supporting our Livesmart customers to grow food in part of their communal garden. For some residents this is about learning a new skill, or rediscovering a long-forgotten one. This project also promotes healthy eating, encourages composting of food waste and is a form of gentle exercise for people who are not as active as they used to be.

What's your role?

I help residents to grow their own food in the communal garden of their LiveSmart scheme, producing a wide variety of fruit and vegetables for everyone to enjoy. We meet weekly, for a couple of hours. This week we planted sweetcorn seedlings (pictured) and residents are looking forward to enjoying the cobs later in the year.

Why did you want to become a volunteer?
I started volunteering as a way to settle in when I moved to the UK from Singapore, and to help people in any way I can. I also volunteer with Heath Hands, a local conservation charity.

What's the best thing about being a volunteer?
When you're in the garden together, there's a strong social aspect. I like mingling with the older residents and seeing the garden coming into fruition. Everything we grow gets eaten!

(This project was supported by the Clarion Futures Communities Microfund)


Yehia. Games & Leisure Volunteer

Yehia works full-time for a national charity but manages to squeeze in a weekly visit to one of our Livesmart schemes during his lunch break. Open about how he might be able to add to the life of the scheme, he talked with the manager and with residents to identify a suitable activity.

What’s your role?
Well it started with us trying lots of different activities like board games, bingo and darts but the residents love playing Scrabble so much that it’s virtually all we do now!

Why did you want to become a volunteer?
I see volunteering as a great opportunity to meet a whole range of people, get to know them really well and contribute to their lives. Also, doing something I haven't done before allows me to challenge myself and develop new skills.

What’s the best thing about being a volunteer?
It’s about making a positive difference. There’s only so much you can do, but the least you can hope for is that you’ve put a smile on one person’s face. I’ve gotten to know many of the residents and get to hear their stories and they make me feel like I’m part of the family.