Volunteer Award 2023 Nominee – Elizabeth Bowskill

Photo of Elizabeth Bowskill, Lincolnshire Gardens TrustNominated for: making a difference to the day-to-day running of a CGT and reaching new audiences to encourage interest and/or involvement in garden history.

Elizabeth joined the Lincolnshire Gardens Trust (LGT) committee in 2009 and quickly stepped in to run LGT Events. This involves considerable administration – researching gardens to visit, contacting owners and venues, publicising and organising events, tickets and expenses.

Elizabeth organizes at least five events a year and also helped deliver LGT’s contribution to the Capability Brown Festival in 2016, involving visits to Burghley, Hainton, Belvoir, and Grimsthorpe, which successfully attracted new members.

When the LGT secretary unexpectedly resigned, Elizabeth stepped in, additionally as Acting LGT Secretary, taking on secretarial, administrative duties, minutes and communication with trustees and other organisations. At the same time, she continued to valiantly organise all LGT main events including its 21st Anniversary celebration. In 2021 she organised a Covid-delayed celebratory 25th Anniversary Summer Garden Party.

In 2012 Elizabeth also supported Lincolnshire Gardens Trust’s ‘Diamond Grove’ project to celebrate the Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee in Queen Elizabeth Country Park, Grantham, working with local schools. Recognising this project, Lincolnshire’s Lord Lieutenant awarded Lincolnshire Gardens Trust one of ‘HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Tree of Trees.’

Steffie Shields, Chair of the Lincolnshire Gardens Trust, writes: “I nominate Elizabeth for her cheerful and exceptional work over many years both as administrator and event organizer and, in addition, for fostering significant park conservation and restoration, education and community relationships with South Kesteven District Council (SKDC) both in her local community and other organisations countywide. Her reliable attendance, caring, cheerful approach, and communication is much appreciated by fellow trustees and members.

Besides all of the above, Elizabeth’s diligent attention to detail and commitment to LGT has been equally outstanding in networking with many local community and volunteer groups concerned with conservation, heritage, schools and wildlife.

What Elizabeth achieved over the last 2 years, sometimes against the odds and Covid lockdown, has been amazing and outstanding. The exemplary impact Elizabeth has made on teamwork and communication with other trustees has been invaluable. Truthfully, I would not have accepted a second stint of LGT chairmanship if Elizabeth had not continued as an essential trustee providing generous, active support.”

Upon receiving the news, Elizabeth said she was “Delighted to be nominated. I enjoy my role with the LGT – organising events/garden visits, and enjoy the company of my fellow hard working committee members. Volunteering is about enjoying the activity, making friends, socialising and making a difference – and I would not continue with any of my volunteering if I no longer enjoyed doing it.”