Angus McGibney has been part of the gardening team at Stair Park Community Garden (Potters), Stranraer, for over four years. He was one of the very first volunteers who later moved onto becoming a trainee at the gardening project. Potters is a non-profit organisation in Stranraer that not only offers hands on horticultural training but also supports people to develop a range of life skills and employability skills.
Angus is a natural gardener coming from a farming/gardening background. He finds all types of gardening, as well as looking after the new beehives at Potters, second nature. In 2016, Angus completed his Caley Grow and Learn ‘Roots’ award and is, in 2018, near to completion of level 2 ‘Nurture’.
‘I enjoy the variety of skills I learn in gardening at Potters including woodwork. I like meeting new people and friends and sharing my knowledge with them. I have the confidence now to do more and offer my skills to the community eg. being a judge at a local flower show’. Angus
Of the many achievements Angus has made over the years, the highlights noted below will give you a flavour of his passion for gardening and also his interest in volunteering and in supporting his local community to grow.
- As part of his Grow and Learn award, Angus set a personal goal to help on the Potters stand at the Lowland Gathering in Stranraer. From this event, Angus then went on to helping with a Potters presentation to the local Women’s Institute. This connection gave him the opportunity to accept an invitation to help judge the annual Leswalt Flower Show, which he now does on an annual basis.
- In 2017, HRH Princess Anne visited Potters as part of her one-day tour of Wigtownshire. Alongside staff at Potters, Angus gave HRH an informative tour of Potters, answering many gardening questions asked of him about the garden, the plants and future developments.
- Angus also now shares his skills and knowledge with pupils approaching transition at Stranraer Academy.
‘Angus is a pleasure to work with and is a great role model and inspiration to everyone around him’. Kara Potter Smith (Transition Project Worker, Potters)
- Angus decided in 2018 he would like to develop his gardening skills further and gain practical work experience within a public garden setting. After successfully being interviewed by Richard Baines, Curator of Logan Botanic Gardens, Angus has been volunteering at Logan Botanic Garden one day a week since March 2018, carrying out a wide variety of horticultural tasks each week.
‘I am enjoying my internship at Logan Botanical Gardens. I am amazed at the variety of plants that can grow there from all over the world. I love working as part of a team and I get a chance to talk to the public where I’m able to answer some of their questions about the gardens now.
For the future I would like to work towards getting a job in gardening. Now that I have experience working at Logan Botanical Gardens, I have a special interest in Botanical gardens’. Angus
- In July 2018, in recognition of Angus being an active Board Member at Potter’s he was awarded, ‘Young Board Member of the Year Award’ by Dumfries and Galloway, third sector volunteer awards (the VOSCARS).
In summing up his experience over the years, Angus concluded that:
‘Stair Park Community Garden Centre has started my passion in gardening and I am grateful for all the guidance, skills and achievements I have gained so far at Potters. With their continued support I’m looking forward to the next challenge around the corner.’ Angus