Volunteer at Kew Gardens
Volunteers at Kew Gardens provide support for a wide range of projects across the Gardens and assist Kew's science and conservation work. Join Kew's volunteering programme to learn new skills, meet like-minded others and help us give back to the community.
Schools and Families volunteers - Gate Greeters welcome and help to orientate school groups arriving at Kew.
Volunteers are a vital and integral part of Kew and support the organisation by assisting staff in their work. Our volunteers donate a range of diverse talents and skills to various departments, most of whom donate either a full or half day per week to the organisation.
Kew has a record of working with volunteers since 1992 and there are currently over 550 volunteers generously donating their time and talent to Kew’s mission.
About our volunteer programme
We currently enjoy the support of over 450 volunteers on the Kew site. Our 150 ‘green fingered’ horticultural volunteers help out with the basic maintenance of Kew’s plant collections, for example, weeding, pruning, mulching, tidying and lawn edging.
Over 100 knowledgeable volunteer Kew guides lead tours of the Gardens for the public and provide a wealth of interesting information and orientation for visitors. There are also opportunities for volunteer drivers within our guiding programme - please click on the guiding link above to find out more.
Our volunteers in the science departments help in a variety of ways including project and administration support within our Herbarium and Jodrell Laboratory. Our Honorary Research Associates contribute their intellect and skills to our scientific research and publications. Volunteers at Kew also provide valuable seasonal support for events, festivals and the Kew Foundation. There are volunteer placements across all areas of Kew including retail, the Nash Conservatory and our Library.
Kew celebrates and thanks its volunteers who donate the precious gift of time and talent to the organisation. In return we give our valued volunteers an interesting and rewarding volunteer experience and offer access to a number of exclusive benefits:
- Free entry to Kew Gardens and Wakehurst during opening hours and one accompanying adult guest (children are admitted to Kew free).
- Free use of the Kew Explorer tour bus.
- Museum entry agreement - Volunteers may use their Kew pass to gain free entry to a number of visitor attractions around London.
- Discounts on food and merchandise purchased in Kew shops.
- Volunteer clothing is provided where appropriate.
- Access to a variety of lectures, training and social opportunities.
At Kew we see volunteering as being about giving and receiving and we hope that our volunteers will both enjoy and learn from their experiences at Kew. All our volunteers are unique and can make a difference – it’s just a matter of working out how. Read on to find out about a volunteering opportunity that may be right for you, that suits your passions, skills and talents, fits your needs and challenges your strengths - something that will allow you to make a difference.
Thank you for your interest in supporting Kew's work in this way.
Keep up to date with events and news from Kew
07 Mar 2014
William Milliken, Head of Kew's Tropical America team, examines the importance of Kew's collection of over seven million herbarium specimens, and how this resource is being used to tackle the global challenges of our time.
28 Feb 2014
Félix Forest, Head of Molecular Systematics at Kew, describes the co-evolution of pollinators and painted petal irises in the Greater Cape of South Africa.
18 Apr 2012
A floral spectacular is in bloom in front of the Orangery at Kew Gardens to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic Games.
14 Feb 2014
Madeleine Groves, the CITES Implementation Officer at Kew, describes how the application of science can help combat illegal wildlife trade.