"Volunteering has shown me how I can use my current skills in the community."

May 25th, 2018
Karen Shields


Karen Shields has been a registered CNHC Nutritional Therapist since 2012. She started volunteering for the Triangle Community Garden Growing Health Lunch Club, three years ago in Hitchin. She tells us how she juggles her busy work load and gaining experience from her volunteering role in the community.

Although I run my busy private clinic during the week on a one-to-one basis, I wanted to gain experience of working within the community and in a group setting.

Growing Health has given me this opportunity. I volunteer 3 hours a week and I have enjoyed learning to work with adults with learning difficulties and helping them address the challenges of weight loss. We discuss nutrition related news, such as the sugar tax or low fat versus high fat diets, and we look at food labelling and educate the group about products that are not as healthy as they seem.

Some of the “gardeners”, as we call them, did not have the skills or confidence to cook healthy meals before they attended. By actively participating in our Lunch Club, they have learnt about where food comes from, how to grow it, how to prepare it and cook it.

By volunteering in Hertfordshire, it has given me a different perspective of how I can use my current skills in a community setting to benefit a whole group together and it has given me confidence in working in a group too.