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

Progression Opportunities in Garden Enterprise

Progression Opportunities starting in February 2020 that Support Garden Maintenance skills development, garden enterprise learning, work experience and self-employed advice and guidance.

Over the last 5 years, inspired by volunteers and City and Guilds graduates, OrganicLea has supported graduates into garden maintenance work. This support has taken various forms. Going into the 2020 season we are holding opportunities for people who want to develop skills and experience as part of a garden maintenance collective. Below are three ways that you can connect to this learning (think about one or all of them!):

 

1) 4 week course to build confidence: ‘Setting up a Gardening Enterprise’: This is an AQA Award course. Classroom based at Hawkwood running from 25 February 2020 until the 17 March 2020 (Tuesdays, 10-3). It will be suitable for those interested in using their horticulture skills and knowledge to make first steps to starting their own business. It will help you to understand basic regulations and compliance around enterprise and test ideas relating to the service you are proposing. Practicalities linked to account finances and customer relations will be covered as well as links to other networks to help grow your gardening related enterprise. There will be lots of opportunity to test your ideas and get feedback to build next steps confidence in a supportive environment. This is a classroom guided learning opportunity with weekly home research.

This course is taught by Belle Tidswell from Organiclea, supported by others from the finance and organisational development parts of OrganicLea.

Prior experience: This opportunity will suit those who have already completed basic gardening qualifications – either at Hawkwood or elsewhere and before enrolment, a telephone conversation about your garden enterprise ideas/interests will take place before the course to make sure it’s the right next step for you.

COSTS: This opportunity is Free and to enrol you will need to show proof of benefits or be willing to sign a declaration to verify your economic status. Call to discuss as there are limited places available for those currently working and seeking career change.

Express interest and request more information by contacting belle@organiclea.org.uk

 

2) 6 week course to build skills and knowledge in: Sustainable Garden Maintenance –  AQA Unit Award Scheme. Starting Friday 21 February for 6 weeks, 10-3. This is a practical course designed to support those keen to build skills to enable them to work in a general home garden environment. It will suit someone who has already completed organic and food growing practices through other courses and who wants to extend their knowledge/confidence to include lawn care, ornamental planting including pruning – with all year round garden planting schemes and basic garden power tools.

We are pleased to welcome Glyn Harries back to join the tutor team for this course opportunity after a successful Autumn course. Glyn is a very experienced tutor and gardener of all fields, and long-time supporter of OrganicLea. His main teaching is at Capel Manor Horticultural College.

Prior experience: This opportunity will suit those who have already completed one of the food growing or work based Level 1 opportunities at Hawkwood, or completed a 3 month stint of consistent volunterring in the Hawkwood market gardens.

COSTS: This opportunity is Free and to enrol you will need to show proof of benefits or be willing to sign a declaration to verify your economic status. Call to discuss as there are limited places available for those currently working and seeking career change.

Express interest and request more information by contacting belle@organiclea.org.uk

 

 

3) Joining OrganicLea Gardeners (OLG) – work experience opportunity to be part of OrganicLea’s annual incubation ‘garden maintenance’ team. Going into the new season, we are looking to support 6 more people to experience working for this collective to achieve garden maintenance work and understand bureacratic and organising realities, for real, to build confidence and prepare for own future business.

Find out more: Friday 7 February, 2.15 – 4.15 – Garden Maintenance working to grow. A chance to join a learning workshop about this working opportunity to be part of Organiclea’s annual incubation ‘garden maintenance’ team. This is open to all invited and you are welcome if curious – no expectations at this stage.

There will also be a presentation about becoming a sessional team player in the February to November 2020 team: What does this mean in practice in terms of income and commitment? With information on processes and how to express interest going forwards. Recruitment for 2020 team is completed by Friday 14 February. Workshops to build group know-how and shared confidence start week beginning 24 February, timing TBC.

Prior experience:  This opportunity combines well with both the AQAs starting in February, ‘Setting up Garden Related Enterprise’ and ‘Sustainable Garden Maintenance’. Those joining this opportunity will be encouraged to participate in these FREE short coursed opportunities.

Initially, we are making this opportunity available to Level 2 course completers with OrganicLea in 2019, and those completing structured training opportunities at the Hawkwood site. Level 1 graduates with some maintenance work experience will also be made aware of the workshop on 7 February.

Sign up for the workshop and ask questions by contacting clare@organiclea.org.uk

 

 

 

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