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Beth: volunteer at SAGE

SAGE Greenfingers provides social and therapeutic horticulture for groups of adults with mental health needs.  This takes place on an allotment site in Burngreave Sheffield; we also provide arts sessions in the community.  Our team of volunteers provide valuable support to both horticultural and arts groups

One of our volunteers Beth has also supported us at many events over the years and is currently undertaking a big fundraiser with her friend and fellow SAGE volunteer Rachel – “Cycle for SAGE – Tour de toilette!”.  They departed from London mid-April and have now reached the south of France already smashing their target of £1000.  Beth and Rach wanted to make a difference for our members by raising money for an easily accessible toilet on our site - Many of our members have mobility issues and struggle to get to the current toilet (which is a big trek up to the top of the allotment site).  This situation has also been a barrier for some people being able to join the group.  Her own initiative and research sparked this idea and during their journey they have been visiting different garden projects in France and checking out the toilet facilities to get ideas for our site at SAGE.

Before leaving for the fundraiser Beth described her experience of being a SAGE volunteer

“I have gained invaluable experiences and friendships and have learnt so much during my time at SAGE, not only about gardening and its positive effects on mental health and well-being, but also about Sheffield and its history through the knowledge and stories that the members share.

Growing flowers, fruit and vegetables can give people a different perspective from our normal busy lives; learning that you have to be patient to see the rewards. Seeing the whole growing process from seed to table (we prepare a meal together from allotment-grown veg!) is incredibly satisfying. Seeing the benefits of the SAGE approach has inspired me to apply for a Masters course in Occupational Therapy, with the hope of one day being able to specialise in horticultural therapy. SAGE has been a massive reason as to why I want to do this.

Another volunteer and good friend, Rachel Clark, and I are just about to embark on a bike ride (our ‘Tour de Toilette’) from south London to Nice in the south of France to raise money for SAGE to build a compost loo on site.

You can find out more about that through this link:

We are holding an event to recruit new SAGE volunteers at our main site on Grimesthorpe allotments.  This is from 4-5.30pm on Wednesday 8th June.  Refreshments will be provided and there’ll be chance to have a tour of the site.  Following this the Mikron theatre company will be doing a production  'Pure: The Business of Chocolate' at the allotments staring at 6pm.  For more information about this event or about volunteering in general please call Emma on 0114 2737718 or have a look at our website


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