If you, or someone you know, is interested in finding out more about Chestnut Nursery, you are welcome to call in informally to see if attending might be of interest. Our criteria, referral form, and basic rules for volunteers can be found in the Downloads Section below. If you believe you, or the person you wish to refer, fulfills our criteria, then the next stage is to complete the referral form as fully as possible and ring the nursery to make an appointment for an informal interview with staff and a tour of the site with a current volunteer.
Any organisation can make a referral, as long as sufficient information is provided. You may ask your CPN, Social Worker, OT, GP, job centre advisor, counsellor etc to refer you if you have no keyworker. If appropriate, following your interview, you will be told how long you may have to wait for a place.
If there is a vacancy, you will be offered a trial day to see if you are still interested in attending. Volunteers normally start work for one or two days per week, but can, by agreement, increase their time here gradually if they wish. The working day is 9 am to 4 pm with two half hour teabreaks, and an hour for lunch.
Hot and cold drinks are supplied, but you will need to bring your own food. Reasonable travel costs are refunded to people attending for work. We will endeavour to help you to find the area of work within the nursery that you find most enjoyable and rewarding.
For information on other ways to help, and on becoming a Friend of Chestnut Nursery, see the Getting Involved section.
The nursery is open to the public from 8 am, so people who prefer to arrive earlier may do so, and have a hot drink before work starts around 9.00. Special arrangements can be made if you need to arrive later, for reasons such as childcare, picking up a daily prescription, or travel difficulties. You do not need to wait until 9.30 to use your bus pass, as fares are refunded.
A member of staff will explain what you are going to do that day, and other volunteers will work with and help you if you wish. You will find the community very friendly and welcoming, remembering how nervous they were when they first started.
There are quiet places to sit, or to work, if you prefer to be on your own, and the shops in Poole are within easy walking distance. It is important to sign in and out when you enter and leave the site, so we know everyone is OK.
There are toilets with hot and cold running water. Working gloves and boots are provided. Poole bus station is nearby and there are buses to most areas from there as well as a car park on site for those who drive.