When our volunteer gardener Mark Tusel isn’t tending to the beds, borders and banks of our award-winning gardens you’ll find him helping out in our Brooklands shop at the weekend.
He decided he wanted to give something back to the community after his father died and so chose to join the ever-growing team at Severn Hospice.
He says volunteering as a gardener and customer service assistant has given him the chance to learn new skills and gain a whole new level of confidence.
“I volunteer with my free time because it gets me out of the house, so I am not at home bored out of my skull and twiddling my thumbs wondering what to do with myself,” said Mark.
“It gives me the opportunity to socialise with others, utilise my existing skills and learn new skills. I get to spend my time doing activities that I enjoy, be around people who enjoy my company and whom I enjoy being in the company of.
“I have made a lot of friends and met a lot of interesting people along the way, gaining an exponential rise in my confidence levels.
“When I first started at the hospice I was terribly shy, I could hardly say a word to anybody, now I am more open and able to share conversational chit-chat with everybody and join in with the jokes.
“All-in-all I can honestly say if I could I would do it all again, and I would not change a single thing.”
He is one of around 80 volunteer gardeners who keep our gorgeous gardens in great shape across both our sites in Telford and Shrewsbury.
“When I see the difference that all our efforts make to a whole lot of people, it inspires and motivates me to keep going.
“Volunteering at the hospice has given me a unique purpose in my life, one I am grateful for and one I never thought I would get.”
To find out how you can join Mark in the garden click here.