Volunteering at Forty Hall Vineyard can have a positive and long lasting impact on people's lives.
Here are just a few stories from volunteers who have benefited from their time with the Vineyard:
"I will always remember how much my time spent volunteering helped me turn things around for the better."
In May 2010, I left my job as a lawyer and signed on to a one-year horticulture course at Capel Manor College. There, I saw an advert recruiting volunteers to Forty Hall Vineyard. I started coming here every week on Wednesdays and monthly on Sundays.
At that point, I was struggling with anorexia, which had taken control of my life. Each day had become incredibly painful mentally and physically, and I was struggling to find any sort of peace. Those few hours working outside in the vineyard with the other volunteers [were] like a saviour to me.
"Volunteering helps a great deal to lift my mood"
I have been volunteering at the vineyard for about two years, during which time I have been unemployed and trying to get back into work.
I suffer from depression, so volunteering helps a great deal to lift my mood. The regular routine, working outdoors, getting exercise and fresh air keeps my mind occupied. It helps me to socialise more, and improve my communication skills by working as part of a team with people from all different walks of life. It even creates possible job links.
"My sense of self worth has returned"
I had been a homemaker for 13 years and I was looking for a way back into work. I thought that volunteering could be it. Volunteering would bring rhythm and structure to my weeks as well as giving my life a purpose. My home had become a self-imposed prison and I was becoming depressed. I knew I had to get out of the house and do something productive. The vineyard was to be my saviour.
"Coming to the vineyard gives structure to my week and gets me out of the house and into the fresh air."
Dan was among the very first volunteers to plant our first ever acre of vines five years ago. He continues to volunteer regularly in his capacity as one of the FHV Team Leaders, running volunteering sessions on a Wednesday and mentoring new volunteers.
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