Within The Walls Garden Project is part of Down the Woods Forest School, where our focus is improving the physical and mental health of children and adults by getting them outdoors. 'Down the Woods' was founded in 2008, with the initial aim of providing Forest School to the children in Hertfordshire.

From its foundation, Down the Woods has built a well-established track record and solid reputation, of providing quality Forest School, as well as a variety of other exciting services to the community within Hertfordshire and beyond.

We work creatively so there are many tasks to complete; planting and weeding, building and maintenance of raised beds, improving and maintaining the toddler area, building a compost toilet, a shelter for the clay oven, a wood-store and food prep area, sheds and, when we eventually raise enough cash, our outdoor classroom.

So far this year, we have had 15 volunteers from Nielsen Holdings, 20 volunteers from Tesco and 8 volunteers from GSK, who feature in the above image.

When we have groups of corporate volunteers, it is like a meeting of two tribes - us used to the elements and getting dirty, and the volunteers, used to mostly office-based work and central heating! We love to welcome the group and share our enthusiasm, and in turn we get a group of people very willing to get stuck in, bringing a new perspective and problem-solving ideas. The sessions usually include a lot of laughs, tea, coffee and cake! Plus, it creates new links and potential interest….and cake, did I mention cake?

All that is required from our volunteers is willingness, enthusiasm and an open mind (we do have a compost toilet after all!)

Tesco, who recently sent volunteers to us wrote:

“Thank you so much for the hospitality and grace that you, Caroline and Jim showed us all today. The Tesco team were pleased to have helped, even if in a small way!”

Nielsen Holdings said: "We had a great time – thanks to you and Caroline for helping make it a lot of fun as well!”

The mental stress of daily life can lead to a lot of sickness days. A stint at the garden will work wonders for those who are often stuck inside. If you’d like to get involved with volunteering through your employer with the Within the Walls project please contact:

lea.ellis@withinthewalls.org

www.downthewoods.org