hello from jo

Hello I’m Jo and I’m the new Project Development Manager here at Hope Garden.

I am absolutely thrilled to be here – I love what Hope does and I am delighted to have joined the Hope Family!

I am three weeks into my time here and it’s been a great start. I have been working with our fantastic Head Gardener Richard and his excellent team Colin, Daniel and Katrina , meeting many of Hope’s wonderful trustees who quietly do so much behind the scenes, and getting to know our brilliant volunteers and trainees as they come in throughout the week, and who really are the heart and soul of Hope!

My office is the best one I’ve worked in by a mile – situated in the beautiful garden, surrounded by trees where I can watch the birds all day. It is just behind the shop so I’ve been meeting many of Hope’s lovely customers coming in for our organic fruit and vegetables and brilliant array of plants as well.

Hope Garden is an important place for a lot of people for all sorts of reasons. It is an inclusive, empowering and friendly space, offering opportunities for adults with learning disabilities from all over Angus and beyond to gain experience and learn new skills. We are so lucky to have our committed, hard-working and passionate trainees who give us their time, because they make the garden what it is.

Our volunteers are a brilliant bunch too – the time, enthusiasm and skills donated are so valuable to a small charity like Hope – so whether you have been manning our facebook page, digging up potatoes, watering our plants or something else, we would like to say a huge thank you!

It has been a difficult year and a half for everyone everywhere, and Richard and his team have been doing an excellent job keeping it all ticking over. Everybody is so pleased we have been able to open the garden up again, and it feels great to be getting back on our feet.

My role here is brand new, so I am still working a lot of it out! Some of the things I will be thinking about are our volunteering and trainee programmes and events, our community connections and partnerships, funding and how we can keep making the best of our garden! All of this is possible thanks to generous funding from the Improving Lives stream of the National Lottery Community Fund, who are funding this position, so huge thanks to them!

If you have thoughts or suggestions, or if you would like to find out more about joining Hope as a trainee or a volunteer, I would love to hear from you! My email address is office@hopeorganicgarden.org.uk and I can be contacted on Hope’s phone at 07963 322 457 from Monday – Thursday.