A workers' cooperative growing food on London's edge in the Lea Valley

Join our ‘buddy’ scheme

Become an Organiclea buddy

We are looking for volunteers at Hawkwood Plant Nursery to ‘buddy’ other volunteers who have higher support needs and with this intial support, demonstrate rapidly increased confidence and familiarity with tasks. The buddying scheme plays an important part in our community work and commitment to diversity and inclusiveness.

We run a market garden, and a veg box scheme, and each Wednesday we cook a meal for volunteers. We want to make sure that all volunteers can participate in these places. We support people with mild learning difficulties, and people who are gaining new skills and confidences for a whole host of reasons. People are referred by agencies, their families or self-refer.

Buddies will do a mixture of:
– partnering with individuals for 6 – 8 weeks to enable them to participate and to achieve agreed goals.
– ‘mindful presence’ on horticultural and other tasks, to do ad hoc one-off buddying where needed, and to help maintain a welcoming, inclusive and safe environment

We are looking for people who:
– want to support individuals’ participation and have a commitment to diversity and inclusiveness
– are patient and empathetic
– enjoy gardening, or are excited about being involved in organic food enterprise

To be a buddy you need:
– to be available or the Buddy Induction Day on Wednesday 29th March 10.30 – 4.30 at Hawkwood Plant Nursery
– to be available for at least three months to volunteer on Tuesday afternoons (1.30 – 4.30) or Wednesdays (11.00 – 4.30) most weeks.

What we offer you:
– Induction Day, including: induction to the site and volunteering with Organiclea; how buddying and referrals work at Organiclea; permaculture principles; how to provide support to people; overview of some support needs you might encounter and how to relate to these appropriately.
– experience of supporting individuals to participate and to meet agreed support needs
– involvement in a variety of Organiclea activities especially gardening, veg and fruit packing
– regular end of day check-ins and designated contact person
– certificate of completion and reference for future opportunities

Interested? Please send an email to Sunniva Taylor at sunniva[at]organiclea.org.uk by Monday 20 March answering the following questions:
– why are you interested in becoming a buddy?
– when would you be available to volunteer? (Tuesday afternoon, or Wednesday) and could you volunteer for at least three months?
– do you have any skills, experiences, or qualities you feel you could bring to this buddying role?
– is there anything we should be aware of (in terms of disability, diet etc) for the induction day and future volunteering?

Please contact Sunniva on the email address above or 020 8524 4994 (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) if you would like to talk anything through or ask questions.

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