Volunteering

Currently, we have three sessions of volunteer gardening each week. These run from 10.00 am to 13.00 pm, although you are not obliged to stay the whole session if this doesn’t suit you – any time you can give is most welcome.

Tuesday’s sessions are at the Rose Garden, Wednesday’s at The Rockery (over the other side of the A23), and Thursday’s at the front flower beds and sometimes the Dahlia Walk (between the tennis courts).

Tools and gardening gloves are available but you may like to bring your own gloves and trowel. The groups of gardeners are very friendly and welcoming.

If you’d like to volunteer, we first recommend that you join the Friends of Preston Park which costs nothing and only takes two minutes. That way you are ‘in the system’.

Then, if you like, you can just turn up at one of the sessions and make yourself known. Go to the chalet at the Rockery at 9.50 am on your chosen day where City Parks Garden Manager Andy Jeavons will have a quick chat and tell you all about the day ahead. Who knows? You may even get one of our new volunteer T-shirts.

If you have a question you’d like us to answer before you get started, just use our Contact Form.


Meet Tom

Hello, I am Tom. I’ve been a volunteer since February 2021, so almost a year, which is not that long as I know people who have been here for ten years. I volunteered because Preston Park is a lovely place and I am proud of it as a resident of Brighton. If you’re going to be proud of something you should do something, so I volunteered.

Andy (the Head Gardener) and the volunteers are lovely people, a joy to work with, and being outside and in such lovely gardens is so nice. The plans for 2022 are exciting, such as planting new cherry blossom trees and an orchard.

Meet Mark

Hello, I’m Mark. I’ve been volunteering at Preston Park since the Spring of 2021. I initially came to do it as a friend and neighbour asked me if I was interested and to begin
with I wasn’t sure whether I would want to do it or not but I was really glad I did it, and
from day one I enjoyed it a lot.

I think what I’ve gained is a sense of productivity, of actually achieving something in
this difficult time (Covid) and also working with all the other volunteers. A lot of the
great moments have been seeing the development of the Rose Garden and also many
people who walk through the park have come over to say thank you and how much
they love the roses and appreciate what we are doing.

I would definitely recommend volunteering at Preston Park to anybody who is thinking
about doing it, any time you can spare is valuable.

Meet Sharon

I’m Sharon. I’ve been a volunteer at Preston Park for a couple of years, so not as long as some people, but what inspired me about volunteering at the Park was probably at the beginning of Covid when I noticed how quickly the Rose Garden in particular was overgrown, as volunteers were not allowed to work it because of lockdown.

I had a conversation with Andy, Preston Park garden manager, and he welcomed me to join the volunteer group once the easing of restrictions allowed. The weeds were over our heads in the Rose Garden and we started on the mammoth task of tackling the weeds.

At the time there was only a handful of us who were allowed to work, with only one person on each rose bed because of the rule of six, so it was hard but we persevered and I gained a huge sense of satisfaction thinking that we were making a difference to our well-loved Park.

I use the Park every day and I wanted it to look nice and the roses to be in good shape for everybody to enjoy.

I think some of the things I’ve enjoyed the most are the conversations and the laughs I’ve had with other volunteers. It’s a joyful, uplifting experience. I tend to suffer with mental health, depression and anxiety, particularly in the winter months and it has lifted me enormously in lots of ways and I love the camaraderie and the good sense that we are doing something together.

I would recommend volunteering at Preston Park to anybody, any age, to love and join our merry throng. Now we have a big group of people who come out regularly even in the winter. Even if it is overcast and miserable, we get out here if we can and it is a joy.