Friday, September 21, 2018 - 12:15

Volunteers are being sought to help run a ground-breaking outdoors programme for grandparents and their grandchildren at the Eden Project.

Deep Roots New Shoots is aimed at mobilising the time and talents of older people.

It was launched last year and was the first scheme of its kind in the country where a visitor attraction put on targeted sessions to support grandparents.

Through nature-based play, walking trails, music and science activities, the Eden Project has developed sessions especially for grandparents and grandchildren facilitated by volunteers. These sessions deliver high quality, first-hand learning experiences for under 5s, and help connect participants with Eden’s iconic site, the wider environment and each other.

New sessions have just started and now Eden is looking for additional volunteers aged over 50 who can offer their time to support a programme of workshops and drop-in activities on Tuesdays to Fridays.

Anyone with a background in education or working with children would be particularly suitable for the voluntary roles which involve narrating, facilitating play and working with other volunteers.

All the sessions are designed to give grandparents who regularly care for their preschool-aged grandchildren ideas for outdoor and imaginary play to help with their grandchildren's early years development.

The sessions are also a chance for participants to meet other grandparents with their grandchildren.

Project coordinator Christine Salaman said: “The Deep Roots New Shoots project is a unique project which recognises the amazing role played by grandparents supporting their families in caring for their grandchildren.

“We have a wonderful team of friendly and enthusiastic volunteers who work hard to inspire and encourage the children and grandparents participating in our activities, and we need new volunteers to expand this team and our activities.”

“If you are over 50 and are able to offer a day or half a day each week or fortnight to be part of this exciting project we would love to hear from you.”

The unique programme is supported by the innovation charity Nesta and the Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) through the Second Half Fund.

Deep Roots New Shoots volunteer Pat Barnes said: “I first discovered Deep Roots New Shoots when I took my granddaughter to Little Eden last autumn. We were both enchanted with the whole concept of being outdoors and investigating the natural world around us. The enthusiasm of the staff and volunteers proved infectious and I became a volunteer also, based on the main Eden site.

“It is a joy to be involved in encouraging grandparents and their charges to look at the environment and its wonders.”

Fellow volunteer Caroline Phillips said: "I volunteer for Deep Root New Shoots because I wanted to be a small part of the great place that is the Eden Project. I had time on my hands and knew my time would be filled in an interesting and engaging way - I was not disappointed.
“Volunteering gives me such positive contact with visitors and colleagues alike, in the most amazing space - it really brightens my day."

For more information on volunteering for Deep Roots New Shoots or Little Eden for Grandparents see or or e-mail or