Willing volunteers, work gloves and wheelbarrows

Victoria logo

24 - 26 November 2015

Students at the Victoria Education Centre (VEC) receive specialised education, care and therapy, and have access to the centre’s expansive grounds to help with their disabilities.

Our volunteers got stuck in to help transform parts of the grounds that had become overgrown: planting a new sensory fairy garden, clearing overgrown areas, chopping wood and planting saplings provided by the Woodland Trust. Volunteers also renewed the horticulture sales displays, painted potting sheds and helped make Christmas wreaths and decorations to help with the centre's fundraising. It was a busy few days!

victoria education

Achieving through believing

The Victoria Education Centre supports 87 children and 15 young adults who have physical, communication and/or learning disabilities. The education centre provides accessible education, high-quality care, therapy and a residential children’s home. There are also 55 adults with learning difficulties who attend a few days a week to learn valuable horticulture skills.

Find out more about the VEC


Our volunteers are helping to keep the grounds in good, usable condition, so that students young and old can enjoy and benefit from the gardens all year round. It also means the VEC can use the resources it would otherwise have to spend on the gardens on other facilities around the centre. 

victoria education centre

David's story

"To see and hear the joy of the children from the centre made our day's volunteering absolutely worthwhile; a humbling experience."

David, Nationwide member

Nationwide and the VEC

This charity was nominated by our employees and members who live locally and wanted to support them. We carried out our first project with the centre in 2014 and our volunteers are helping to maintain the grounds in autumn and spring.

victoria education centre

The detail


The Victoria Education Centre in Poole, Bournemouth.


24 - 26 November 2015.

Skills needed?

Energy and enthusiasm for being outdoors!

Anything else?

We asked volunteers to wear suitable warm clothing and sturdy shoes. We provided all the tools and direction on what work to do in the gardens.



Register to receive Side by Side news and future volunteering opportunities. You can also volunteer with VEC directly.



If you'd like to get involved in fundraising or make a donation to the VEC and its facilities, you can contact its Fundraising Office.



Read the Victoria Education Centre's Prospectus, or find out more about the centre on its website.

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