Volunteer Spotlight: Luke’s Story


At Moat Brae we’re lucky to have a team of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers to help take care of the house and gardens. We’re delighted to share with you the story of how one of our volunteers, Luke, started volunteering with us and his experience. If you feel inspired to get involved and volunteer at Moat Brae, find out how here.

‘My daughter loves Moat Brae, and prior to Lockdown had the pass and would visit often. We saw on the Moat Brae facebook page that they were looking for volunteers- and wanting to help out what is a great attraction for Dumfries, I got in touch. 

Natasha, the Volunteer Coordinator, was quick to respond and clearly outlined the ways I could help out. One of the opportunities was working in the garden, and having experience gardening, and also having previously worked with the Head Gardener Matt many moons ago, I thought that would be best for me.

Natasha arranged an opportunity to come in and speak with her and Matt, and from there we were able to agree a timetable and the type of work I could volunteer on so that it suited me. I agreed to come in fortnightly for just over half a day, and work on more landscaping focused tasks. This has included removing turf to extend borders for planting. So far, we’ve cleared an area around their new garden workshop so that Matt can put some new plants in to lead up to and surround the workshop so that it becomes immersed into the gardens surroundings. We’ve also cleared an area around the fantastically carved wooden crocodile which will add another space for children to explore and play in. It needed a bit of graft to lift the turf and then take it down to the shed area, but I enjoy that, and it’s nice seeing the difference in an area that you’ve been working on after a visit. 

There are lots of opportunities to help out and volunteer at Moat Brae, including in the house and shop, and the garden. Natasha, and Matt in the garden, are always really appreciative of your efforts and the communication is great, which is really important when you are volunteering. If you have time, or maybe some skills you think could contribute- I’d encourage you to get in touch by emailing Natasha, and I’m sure you’ll get the opportunity to sit down and discuss ways you can contribute. It’s feels good to be able to contribute to a place I know my daughter loves and offers so much to the young people and families of Dumfries, and hopefully in the future will get back to being a great tourist location that can attract people to visit Dumfries.’

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