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

Changes to Hawkwood Working Week

As we all process quite rapid developments in Government guidance and legislation, here is our update about how we are keeping local food supply growing and going here at Hawkwood, posted 24 March 2020.

1.Critical Sector: Government has listed Food and other necessary goods and this includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as critical

  1. Keeping local food supply going and communities strong and healthy, remains key to OrganicLea. Responding to the Government statement yesterday and rules restricting movement – we have to dramatically restrict people to the site and change how we manage the work to produce food in the market gardens until Friday 17 April – here is the plan:

  2. Keeping food growing at Hawkwood: We are spreading work across the week so will be open for a limited number of volunteer ‘food production assistants’ on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 11-4 each day – this will start ASAP. In the markets gardens this is currently only open to those who have completed their volunteer induction.

  3. We are asking for a small number of assistant volunteers on each day. To keep it simple we will start by inviting sign-ups from those who have completed a volunteer induction.

  4. We need volunteers to sign up to come from 11-4 on given days using an online registration form. If you are someone who has done a volunteer induction and hasn’t received this sign-up link but would like to register, please email volunteering@organiclea.org.uk

These assistant volunteer places start on Wednesday 25 and Friday 27 March, and then will be across the week starting Monday 30 March. We will send an updated link each Friday with a request to sign up to volunteer at Hawkwood for the week ahead and share additional news mid-week.

  1. Staying in touch: We will start to use this smaller pool of contact details to inform those stepping into ‘essential worker’ roles of any weekly changes.

  2. Sensible travel restrictions: For the next 3 weeks (until 17 April), we are seeking to restrict attendance for volunteers who are not walking, cycling or driving. This is because NHS guidance on Coronavirus defines “close contact” as being within two metres of an infected person for more than 15 minutes. So a lot of the potential risk of infection on public transport will depend on how crowded they are and vary in different areas and at different times – we don’t want to take this risk if it is not essential to. This is done with a heavy heart, as we support public transport and recognise its vital role in normal times. Please feel able to talk to us about your situation in relation to this if necessary.

  3. Another key risk management decision is that for the coming 3 weeks, we cannot prepare lunch for those here. Please continue to support us by joining the work-rota over the coming weeks, and also bringing your own packed lunch.

And today at a much quieter Hawkwood – those here have often given thanks for the warmth of the sun; and a salad harvest that oozes vitality and health-giving properties. Keep healthy and hope to see some of you at a distance over the coming month – during which time Hawkwood will hopefully remain a therapeutic and community building space in these difficult times – and in the many seasons to come beyond the immediate weeks.

With ongoing gratitude

OrganicLea Workers’ Cooperative

 

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