Its always good to be the first… WRAGs trainee

Hello my name is Shirley Ogden and I’m Charlecote’s first WRAG trainee!

What I can hear you ask is a WRAG trainee? Good question!

The full title is “Women Returners to Amenity Gardening Scheme”. It is a bit of an odd title but basically it is a scheme that has been developed to provide an opportunity for capable, responsible and self-motivated gardeners who are enthusiastic but untrained but have gained valuable experience working in their own gardens. The WRAG scheme offers the opportunity to gain a year’s basic practical experience in a good training garden working alongside and under the guidance of a knowledgeable gardening team.

I first became aware of the WRAG scheme a year or so ago and as it seemed to be the ideal scheme for me I set about planning my other job to fit around the scheme! I am a qualified District Nurse in my other life! I have worked for the NHS for over 30 years! 22 of those years as a District Nurse in Leamington, so I have experienced nursing at it’s very best and it’s very worst! But as I was ready for a change I opted to work on the Out Of Hours team based in Leamington and now fit working 3 evenings a week, (we have been known as “The Mushroom Squad” as we only come out at night!) a family of 4 children and working at Charlecote into my schedule!

I was very interested to hear from Sally Abell the WRAG co-ordinator that Charlecote was starting with the scheme and was delighted to be offered the opportunity to experience working at this very unique and beautiful place.  Not really knowing what to expect from the scheme when I started in March I can definitely say being part of the team here at Charlecote has so far been a great pleasure. They have all been very welcoming and I already feel part of the Charlecote team. The depth of knowledge and experience about all aspects of life at Charlecote is amazing and my expectations of my placement have already been far exceeded!

As well as the invaluable knowledge from the gardening team, I now know that snowdrops grow in drifts! (ask Bernard about that one!) I have been privileged to be involved in all the other aspects of Charlecote; the Jacob Sheep, the Park , the beekeeping and the history that wraps itself around all the development work in progress at Charlecote. I intend to keep you posted as my placement at Charlecote progresses so watch this space!

Shirley Ogden, WRAG trainee.

If you would like more info on WRAGS follow their blog or check their website.


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