Who trains our volunteers ?

Garden Organic is the new working name for the Henry Doubleday Research Association. It is one of the UK’s longest standing environmental charities and has over 32,000 members interested in sustainable living and organic growing in particular. The charity has expertise on home composting and is keen to promote this to its members and the wider community. Composting is a vital cornerstone of organic gardening and the organisation has worked to develop compost techniques and promotion since it was first established 5 decades ago. They feel strongly that people who compost at home should have inspirational support to ensure that they continue to compost successfully throughout their lives.

How many volunteers are there ?

During 2006, Garden Organic trained 15 volunteers from Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin to become Master Composters, they also trained Council personnel in home composting techniques and promotion.  Since 2006 over 75 volunteers have graduated as Master Composters and all have gone on to give at least 35 hours of their time since then.  Around 60 volunteers are still active and are out and about in their areas helping people to compost more and waste less.

How are training courses run?

Master Composter training takes place over 2 days, usually a weekend. The course is now accredited by the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management. One day is held in Shrewsbury. This explains the scope of the scheme, what is required of volunteers and what help they can expect. There is usually a visit to one of the Councils ‘green waste’ on- farm composting sites, to see composting on a large scale.   The next day is a trip to Garden Organic’s site at Ryton, near Coventry. They have examples of all kinds of home composting equipment, and cover technical aspects of composting and interacting with the public. All transport is provided, and lunch and refreshments. Volunteers are also issued with a helpful manual, and a polo shirt and fleece to wear when volunteering.

How much are volunteers expected to do?

In return for free training and support, volunteers are asked to give up at least 35 hours of their time promoting composting. This doesnt have to be immediately, but might be over a year or more. Many volunteers have gone on to give far more than this minimum and are still giving their time today. This can be in a variety of forms, such as school visits, attending events, giving talks or writing articles for parish newsletter, one of our volunteers even built this website!

To volunteer just contact Shropshire Council Waste Management via waste@shropshire.gov.uk

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