Ray Evans Nominated for Volunteer of the Year – Steve Morgan Foundation

We are delighted to be able to tell everyone that EVWG volunteer Ray Evans, has reached the finals of the Steve Morgan Foundation annual awards for Volunteer of the Year.

This is the 20th Anniversary of these prestigious awards and it is a great honour for Ray and for Erlas Victorian Walled Garden to reach the finals. The winner will be announced at a conference  at the Carden Park Hotel on 28th March 2022.

Erlas have had a strong relationship with the Morgan Foundation for a significant number of years and have benefitted from funding for different  projects including funding during the Covid pandemic to ensure that we could continue to support our service users.

You can read more about these awards on the foundation website by clicking the following link –  Final shortlists revealed for Steve Morgan Foundation Awards – Steve Morgan Foundation


Ray pictured above during the roundhouse restoration, will be well known to everybody associated with Erlas, having volunteered for over 11 years and been working with us 3 days a week for so long now that most people assume he is a full time, member of staff. As Ray put it “I have been here a long time and seen a lot of changes, but I am still enjoying it every day”.

His contribution to Erlas over the last 11 years has been immense and varied. Below are a few pictures of Ray in action.

 

Congratulations to Ray on his nomination and thanks from everybody associated with Erlas for all his work for the charity.  Thanks Ray.

 

 

Pruning Course – Sunday 6th February 2022

Need to prune your apple trees? Come along to our workshop for tips and advice and a chance to practice your skills with expert help.
Time will be spent outside so keep an eye on the weather and dress accordingly. 🌦
Bring your lunch with you. Tea and coffee will be provided ☕
Equipment will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own secateurs, saws and loppers.
Cost for the day: £25
Please book by contacting the garden:
You can call us on 01978 265 058
You can email us at info@erlas.org

Vacancies – We are still searching for the right individuals

We are still searching for the right individuals to join us in two new key roles in the garden, Community Inclusion Gardener and Administration Support Officer.

Closing date for both roles is midday on 31st January 2022. Applications should be in the form of a CV and covering letter sent to hr@erlas.org

Full details of the roles and how to apply can be found by clicking on the links below

Community Inclusion Gardner

This one year contract is well suited to an individual wishing to employ their gardening skills in a wide range of areas and further their practical experience in a thriving and supportive workplace. While the initial contract will be for one year, efforts will be made to source further funding to extend the period of employment.

Based at the four acre secluded garden on the outskirts of Wrexham, you will work in all areas of horticulture (vegetables, fruit, flowers, herbaceous and shrub propagation and wildlife areas) to assist the Garden Manager with the planning and day to day running of the garden including but not restricted to, ground preparation, planting , harvesting, propagation, pest and disease control, machinery use and maintenance, and general garden maintenance.

The successful candidate will work alongside the garden’s clients, volunteers and groups and must be prepared to conduct visiting groups around the site as required.

Initially this is a one-year contract for 37 hours per week with a salary of £17450.

Click here for full details of the role and how to apply

Administration Support Officer

If you are a self-starter, organised, thrive on delivering excellent customer service, love solving problems, enjoy working with passionate and committed people, confident dealing with phone and email enquiries and are proficient in Microsoft Office products, then this could be the job for you.

You will be based at Erlas Victorian Walled Garden’s, four acre site on the outskirts of Wrexham dedicated to providing meaningful daytime activities for adults with learning difficulties, within a horticultural setting. As the Administration Support Officer, you will be working with colleagues, volunteers and directors, and using your organisational skills to deliver a first class experience for our stakeholders every day.

Does working in a peaceful, tranquil environment, with passionate and dedicated people, while delivering life changing experiences for vulnerable adults, appeal to you?

Initially this is a one-year fixed term contract for 35 hours per week with a salary of £16544.

This role will require the postholder to work on the charity’s premises.

Click here for full details of the role and how to apply.

We look forward to receiving applications for these two roles.

We Are Recruiting again

Exciting news – we are recruiting again.

We are delighted to announce that we are again recruiting. We are searching for two dedicated and committed individuals to support new roles in the garden.

Full details of the roles and how to apply can be found by clicking on the two links below

Administration Support Officer

The purpose of this new job is to provide administrative support to the charity to ensure the efficient operation of the organisation. The postholder will support managers, employees, volunteers and directors through a variety of tasks related to organisation, administration and communication.

There is a one-year fixed term part-time contract for 35 hours a week. The postholder will be line managed by the Charity Lead Officer.

This role will require the postholder to work on the charity’s premises.

Click here for full details of the role and how to apply.

Community Inclusion Gardner

The purpose of this new job is to increase involvement of the general community and those marginalised by society in all aspects of the charity especially in the garden and to improve opportunities for service users to interact with volunteers and members of the community.

There is a one-year fixed term contract, but if this project were to be successful, funding would be sought to continue the contract.

Click here for full details of the role and how to apply

We look forward to receiving applications for these two roles.

Garden Open Day – 18th July 2021

We are delighted to announce another Garden Open Day on Sunday, 18 July 2021 from 13:00 – 16:00.

Following the success of our recent open days in May and June, we are pleased to announce that we are opening Erlas Victorian Walled Garden to the public again on Sunday 18th July 2021, when there will be an opportunity to have a wander around the garden and also to purchase plants and vegetables from our shop.

While in the garden why not follow our nature trail and see what you can spot in the garden, you can download a copy of the nature trail guide here.

Entrance will be via the West Garden with exit via the shop and main gate, please follow the signs and be prepared to wait a few minutes should these areas get congested. To keep everybody safe we will be limiting the number of people who can access the shop area at any one time and we ask that you observe the 2 metre rule whilst in the garden.

We look forward to welcoming our friends old and new and hope you enjoy your visit.

 

Garden Update – July 2021

In this update I bring you news of the progress made in getting everybody back into the garden, introduce three new members of staff, an update on recent open days and plans for future events, and news of our fundraising.

I was delighted to receive the three photos below, taken by John Hughes last week. This level of activity in the garden is something that we have not seen for 15 months; it is testament to the dedication of staff and volunteers that the garden has been kept in such great shape and that we are now able to open the garden to our beneficiaries while working in a Covid safe environment. We are continuing to increase the number of beneficiaries coming back into the garden each week and we look forward to the time when we can get back up to full capacity.

Click on the picture to see the full size version
Click on the picture to see the full size version
Click on the picture to see the full size version

John Hughes continues his series of drawings and his June offering is a Stag Beetle which was spotted in the garden in late June.

 

One adjustment we have had to make due to the pandemic, is to operate with much smaller group sizes and hence we have recruited new members of staff and deployed temporary buildings so that we can operate safely distanced while inside.

Introducing New Members of Staff

We are lucky to have a dedicated and very successful fundraiser in Ann Morton and through her efforts we were able to secure funding from a number of different sources to allow us to take on more staff as part of our Covid recovery plan. So far we have recruited three new members of staff and are currently interviewing for an additional person.

Our three new members are:

John Hughes
Tracey Green
Gareth Davies

 

 

 

 

John has been a volunteer for many years and is well known to all at the garden, Tracey joins us from the NHS where she worked as an Occupational Therapist and Gareth has been working within the Wrexham care community and will be known to people in the garden through his care work. We are expecting to announce a further staff member this month so watch this space.

We are currently recruiting for a Charity Lead Officer and details of this role can be found on our vacancies page.

Open Days

Our recent open days in May and June have been very successful in raising much needed funds for the charity and importantly enabling us to reconnect with the community.  Over 300 people attended the May event and a further 200 plus people attended June’s event, raising over £2,000 in total.

We are hoping to have another open day in July and details will be posted when a decision has been made, in the meantime we will be open in September as part of the National Garden Scheme; click here for details.

Fundraising

During the 2020/21 period when the garden was closed to beneficiaries we were able to run online classes and deliver our successful Keeping In Touch programme which included the purchase of IT equipment for beneficiaries and staff to be able to run the programme, all of which were made possible through the generosity of a number of funding organisations. Since reopening to beneficiaries we have taken on additional staff as part of our Covid recovery programme and again this has only been possible due to some fantastic funding from different organisations. We have received specific Covid related funding from:

Henry Smith Covid 19 Response Fund
Community Foundation in Wales – recovery fund
Moondance Foundation – Covid 19 relief fund
Community Foundation in Wales – resilience fund
Community Foundation in Wales –respond and recovery fund
Steve Morgan – Covid-19 Emergency Fund
Community Inclusion – Covid 19 Response Grant. (Wrexham Social Services)

 

We welcome all donations; you can help us by clicking here.

 

 

Time is running out ……………….

Time is running out to pledge your support for Erlas Victorian Walled Garden via the Aviva Community Fund.

There are only 4 days left until the crowdfund appeal ends on 16th June 2021 and we still need your support.

Every penny that is raised comes to EVWG and we have some great projects lined up to utilise the money raised.

Click here to link to our Aviva Community Page 

What are we raising money for?  The enforced closure of the garden to the public over the last 14 months has had a significant impact on our ability to raise funds through Summer and Winter fayres, plant and vegetable sales, garden open days, hosting events and visits from clubs. We have lost over £8,000 of income from these events. Through this initiative we are raising funds to improve the paths and make them safer for those with mobility difficulties, replace the failing raised beds which are so important to our beneficiaries and to replace the bridge decking and rails over the pond which are in need of attention.

How do I donate?  Please follow the link below to our entry on the Aviva Community Fund webpage and follow the instructions to donate.

Click here to link to our Aviva Community Page 

Thank you for your support.

Open day – Sunday 13th

Don’t forget that we are open this Sunday, 13th June from 13:00 – 16:00 when you will have the opportunity to wander around the garden and to purchase plants and veg from our plant shop. Everybody welcome, including well behaved dogs on leads.

Vacancy – Charity Lead Officer- Closing Date Extended to 24th August 2021

Vacancy:   Erlas Victorian Walled Garden – Charity Lead Officer

The closing date for the Charity Lead Officer vacancy has been extended to 24th August 2021 and the Job Description has been amended.

Please see our vacancies page for full job information and detail on how to apply for this senior role.

If you would like to apply for this position, please send your CV and a covering letter to hr@erlas.org. Please include 2 references, one of whom should be your current or last employer. The covering letter should include examples of how you meet the competencies for the role and demonstrate values consistent with those of EVWG.

Closing date for applications is 24th August 2021. We reserve the right to close applications at an earlier date should sufficient applications have been received.

Open Day and Crowdfunding Donations

Thank you to everybody who attended the Open Day last Sunday, it was great to see so many old and new friends in the garden enjoying the surroundings and purchasing plants from our shop. Your generosity enabled us to raise over £1000.

The opening attracted over 300 visitors and proved that we are able to run open days in Covid safe way. The link below is to an article in the Wrexham Leader celebrating the successful opening

https://www.leaderlive.co.uk/news/19313112.wrexham-charity-fundraising-bid-improve-facility/

Such was the success of the day we are opening the garden again on Sunday 13th June 2021 from 1pm – 4pm and we hope that you will be able to attend.

We are continuing to raise funds through the Aviva Community Fund and we would be delighted if you would pledge a donation to us through the link below.

https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/rebuild-reopen-return-reconnect-recover-rejoice

All donations come directly to the garden, along with any associated gift aid, and will be used to make the bridge over the pond safer, improve the pathways making them safer for those with mobility problems and replacing the failing raised beds.

Vacancy – Support Worker

Vacancy:   Erlas Victorian Walled Garden – Support Worker

An opportunity has arisen to join the small team of dedicated, professional staff at Erlas Victorian Walled Garden, Bryn Estyn Road, Wrexham (EVWG) providing a valuable service for adults with learning disabilities.

During the current pandemic we have had to close the garden to our service users. As we re-open the garden and re-establish services to our beneficiaries we are ensuring that everybody is safe by meeting in smaller groups. To help this we have secured temporary accommodation on site and are now recruiting additional staff to facilitate the workload associated with having smaller group sizes working in different areas of the garden.

The person we are looking for will be experienced in the following competencies, preferably gained while working with adults with learning disabilities in a community setting:

  • Respect and Tolerance
  • Team Working – Peers, Managers and Trustees
  • Comfortable dealing with – guardians, carers, care service providers
  • Creative Thinking – developing and delivering new activities
  • Communication – Verbal and written, face to face and via technology
  • Use of Technology – including Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Office, iPads
  • Adapting to change
  • Working outside

This is a 12 month contract of 37 hours per week, with a 2 month probation period and a salary of £17,489 pa.

An enhanced DBS check will be required for the successful candidate.

Further information is contained in the job description for this role.

If you would like to apply for this position, please send your CV and a covering letter to hr@erlas.org. Please include 2 references, one of whom should be your current or last employer. The covering letter should include examples of how you meet the competencies for the role and demonstrate values consistent with those of EVWG.

Closing date for applications is 28th May 2021 and interviews are expected to be held week commencing 31st May 2021.

You can find out more about EVWG at:

Website:  www.erlas.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/erlasvwg

Twitter: @ErlasGarden

Instagram: @erlasvwg