An RHS volunteer’s journey

Volunteering need not be confined to one area within the RHS and often unexpected areas of opportunity open up.

One volunteer progressed from talking about RHS membership recruitment at RHS Chelsea Flower Show to talking about butterflies at RHS Garden Wisley.

Janet's story

A keen gardener and plant lover, on retiring Janet enquired whether the RHS needed help. Weeks later she found herself in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea persuading visitors that their support was important to the Society. By the end of her three days volunteering Janet was hooked.

Twelve years later, Janet has "been so lucky and enjoyed promoting membership at so many different events, ranging from regularly at RHS Garden Wisley to the RHS at The Inner Temple flower show - an exciting venue".

Changing prospects

But Janet’s role hasn’t stopped at RHS membership recruitment.

A few years ago she was asked to help during the pre-show Press Day at RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

"Build-up is particularly exciting with the exhibitors pulling out the stops to get their gardens and exhibits ready for the big day, and being a privileged volunteer you are able to enjoy the show before the crowds arrive!"

At the beginning of 2009 Janet was asked to help at a special event held at Wisley: tropical butterflies in the Glasshouse. After a day’s "absolutely fascinating" training on the life and habits of butterflies she ‘emerged’ well prepared to answer questions from children and "thrilled adults".

With the help of Janet and others the event proved an amazing success - as superb as the butterflies.

Janet’s thoughts

"The more you put into these things, the greater the job satisfaction; I have found this with the RHS. Variety, fun, new friends, interesting people and more importantly maintaining the success and growth of the RHS; I love it."

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