I came to Hollybush in the summer of 2011, out of work, a little bit lost and needing something to occupy my time. It was that very same day that I was introduced to the gardening group and persuaded, by Jess and Sulafa, to be a Volunteer Officer.
In the beginning I wasn’t really sure what had happened but it turned into some of the happiest working years of my life! Working with Sulafa, (Oi, you bugger!) Hollybush, like the bindweed that invaded the garden invaded my life in such a happy way, the garden, the staff, and the whole range of volunteers who turn up in all weathers to chat, work and be together outside sharing the Hollybush experience. It was in this time that I met my now husband, the lovely Andy, whilst we volunteered on the People In Action project. After 18months as a VO I had a short break away where I went to try out a few other volunteering/working opportunities of Leeds but my heart was at Hollybush so I was back, this time employed as the Project Officer for the gardening groups!! I loved the diversity of people, the non-judgemental approach that Hollybush has, the support the staff and volunteers had for each other created a truly special place. I got to be outside everyday and there were some rubbish jobs such as turning the compost, weeding the cobbles, cleaning the poly tunnel in the freezing winter but it didn’t really matter what the jobs were it was the sense of community that Hollybush created that was important. In the summer sitting and eating lunch around the pond was just so peaceful and beautiful, a little oasis in the hustle and bustle of the city.
The VISP project came to an end and it was time to move on to different things but Hollybush will always hold special memories for me. It was just right lovely!