Monday, 9 July 2012

Jam, Jam Jam! Who'd have thought you could volunteer with jam?!

Neelam Shah
Hi everyone, my name’s Neelam and I’m in my second year of a BSc in International Relations with Media and Cultural Studies at Kingston University.

I recently volunteered at the ‘Jam Inn’ event which took place on Saturday 7th July 2012 in Twickenham. It was a community engagement event for the Heritage community project ‘Jam Yesterday Jam Tomorrow’, which is being run by the Environment Trust for Richmond Upon Thames.

The ‘Jam Inn’ event turned the café at Heatham House into a vintage tea room which displayed research about market gardening in the local area. During the day I helped to serve tea and coffee, but my favourite part of volunteering was interacting with the public and talking to them about the heritage lottery funded project which explores the importance of Hampton market garden industry and the forgotten heritage of Twickenham. The purpose of the project is for the general public to learn about how to preserve and restore the lost plant heritage to sites throughout the area through archive research, oral histories and hands on activities. I really enjoyed volunteering because I felt like I contributed to the aim of the project.  

The day itself was fairly busy - I started off by handing out fliers to people passing by and encouraging them to go in and have tea, coffee and cake. Not many people came in at first because the weather was so lovely outside, but later on it got much busier and people starting sharing their market gardening stories. The children at the event loved it when they were taught how to make their own jam! The day was really fun and I look forward to volunteering again soon!

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