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

Update for volunteers and course learners

This is to update current volunteers and course learners about how Hawkwood market garden is operating in accordance with the health and welfare guidelines outlined below. This information is posted on Monday 23 March and will be updated if the situation changes. Anyone who is interested in volunteering for the first time should look at our volunteering induction information here, as registration is essential during this time.

Our Duty of Care: We at OrganicLea are committed to the health and welfare of our community, so we are providing this information and guidance to help everyone feel and stay safe during the current health situation, and support decision making about coming to Hawkwood site for volunteering and training. We are doing what we can to adapt to an evolving situation. As of 23 March – we are operating a pre-registration for volunteer sessions, and some courses have been moved online but all are still running and tutors are healthy.

Being outdoors is good for us all and for our overall health and wellbeing. Looking after our mental health is crucial at this time and many of us find that green spaces and nature connection supports us through difficult times such as these. However, we appreciate that everyone will need to make their own assessment about volunteering and visiting Hawkwood. We understand that it will be best for some people to stay at home and encourage you to do this for as long as you need to.

Following current guidelines – advice as of 23 March is: If you are displaying any of the symptoms associated with the virus – which are recent onset of a new continuous cough and/or high temperature, we advise that you do not come this week and follow the below public health guidelines. For households where there is someone who shows symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus (and again, note above symptoms), we advise you to read the Public Health guidelines below and do not come to Hawkwood for 14 days since symptoms first showed.

  1. Members of the Coop – with support from many regular volunteers are keeping a close eye on advice from Public Health England. We are monitoring the facilities used by all at Hawkwood, and are all open to suggestions or feedback regarding this. We are also encouraging everyone to be vigilant with handwashing and general hygiene. As of 16/3/20 we have implemented changes to lunch serving  and are reducing volunteer numbers to allow for distancing measures, AND encourage all to bring in your own drinking cup, or use one from the kitchen all day.
  2. We advise that you check NHS and .GOV websites regularly for accurate and up-to-date information:




The season is changing around us and we will keep you updated about opportunities to come and learn and share in the garden as Spring finally arrives and turns into summer over the coming 5 months. We will also keep you informed as things evolve at Organiclea linked to coronavirus-Covid-19.

And a reminder of the importance of eating well and sleeping plenty – to keep yourself healthy.

Stay safe, be mindful of others and keep healthy together,

Organiclea Workers’ Cooperative


Categories:  News

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