Volunteer Profile: Rosemary Barker

As winter draws in, the cold, damp and shorter days can all be can all be barriers to getting out and about and connecting with others. However, one such way of beating the ‘winter blues’, by connecting with nature and a community of like-minded individuals, is volunteering. Several studies have shown volunteers have seen a clear benefit to their physical and mental wellbeing.

So, with that in mind, and the final Fordhall volunteer weekend of 2022 fast approaching, we are going to be sharing some of our lovely volunteers’ stories over the coming weeks – starting with Rosemary’s, featured in our Summer 2019 edition of the Grazer!

Rosemary is originally from Windsor but has spent most of her life living in Canada where she moved with to be with family when just 16, although has also spent periods living in Spain and Majorca.

Health and healing is one of her passions, influenced greatly by her late parents to live a healthy and active life.  Rosemary is a dowser as well a nutritionist who can advise people on the best diet to suit them as well as allergy testing to identify what to avoid.   A love for meeting people has driven Rosemary’s desire to get involved in volunteering and she will take the time to find out all about the people around her, always there for a cuppa and a chat if you need it.

In 2006 Rosemary was working in Guildford and read about the campaign to save Fordhall Farm as well as hearing substantial radio coverage.  Feeling very drawn to the cause Rosemary became a shareholder and first came to volunteer with us in 2010.  Since then Rosemary has become a regular long term volunteer staying for various lengths of time enabling her to revel in her love of the countryside.  Her longest period at Fordhall was in spring 2015 and she remained with us here for 18 months, bravely making a lovely home in the porta cabins!

During her time here Rosemary supports almost all areas of the farm; helping in Arthurs Farm Kitchen, tidying, gardening, shopping trips for supplies and notably showing her genuine caring side by making a conscious effort to look after staff welfare.  Always checking people are happy and offering words of wisdom and support as needed, Rosemary really reflects our values in her daily life and is a very valued member of our Fordhall family.  We were lucky to welcome Rosemary back from February to June this year, with her bringing her Grandson Nicholas for part of her stay who had great fun immersing himself in daily farm life.

To find out more about volunteering at Fordhall, email volunteer manager Mike at mike.grabarz@fordhallfarm.com