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

Trainee Roles 2021

OrganicLea Trainees 2021: Summary of opportunities – 9 roles

We’re looking for 9 people to fill our Organiclea trainee roles for 2021. This is an exciting opportunity to be part of the Organiclea community and to take on a specific area of learning and responsibility in community food growing, local food distribution, and support for volunteer learning and participation.

These are, in the main, 9 month structured volunteer-training placements (with a couple of 6 month opportunities). Starting week beginning 5 April 2021, and ending week beginning 13th December 2021.

The commitment:

  • Roles can be achieved with a commitment of one day a week: some require Tuesday commitment, some focus on Wednesdays and others are a Friday opportunity (with some benefiting from agreed flexibility across the traineeship time). The working day for all roles is 9-5. More details about how the days relate to roles are below.
  • There are additional workshops/learning opportunities on 1 evening a month (Wednesday/Friday) at the end of the working day.
  • Participation in very occasional weekend (Sunday) activities also supports the overall experience.

All roles are based at OrganicLea’s main site – Hawkwood Plant Nursery in Chingford, Northeast London.

 

Summary of roles here – for full details download the individual role descriptions through the links below.

 

A. Grower (Community market gardening focus: Plants and Production) – 2 posts

A placement within the production team at Hawkwood: This traineeship will suit someone looking to develop their skills as a market gardener in a community setting – supporting production activity during busy and diverse volunteering and training tasks. The trainee will learn the skills required to manage the production at Hawkwood, to integrate that with the needs of participants and take on responsibilities for growing plants and produce over the growing season. Full role description

Traineeship days: 2 one day roles

Ideally, the trainee would be available to work on a Wednesday, and able to change days to a Tuesday for a three month “block”. We realise this may not be possible/ practicable for every candidate, so the detail of the “day change” can be worked out prior to the role commencing. There is the option of doing a 1.5 day per week traineeship for candidates willing and able to work on Tuesday and Wednesday throughout the traineeship.

 

B. Grower to Grocer – 2 posts

A placement within both the production and distribution teams within OrganicLea. The trainee will learn, and take on responsibilities for, the skills and activities required to harvest and prepare fresh produce, in particular for the Organiclea box scheme, and for the preparation and packing work that completes the whole ‘grow to sell’ picture. You will gain an insight into production requirements, supply coordination, ordering, liaising with suppliers and marketing of the business. Full role description

Traineeship days: 2 one day roles.

The role is a one day per week commitment, but as different days at Hawkwood have a different flavour, structure and learning objectives, it is preferable but not essential that the candidate’s working day changes during the course of the traineeship. Ideally, the trainee would be available to work on a Tuesday or Wednesday for half of the year and be able to change from one day to the other for the other half. We realise this may not be possible/ practicable for every candidate, so the detail of the “day change” can be worked out prior to the role commencing.

 

C. Grower (Horticulture with Fruit and Vines focus) – 2 posts

A placement with the fruit production team: We have an orchard of over 200 young fruit trees; peaches fan trained against our glasshouse; cordons of apples and pears; almonds and hazelnuts. We also grow soft fruits including strawberries, blackcurrants, raspberries and rhubarb. Our vineyard has been planted with nearly 500 vines, for eating and drinking; we have a winery and make our own wine. This traineeship will suit someone looking to develop their skills within the market garden, and in particular someone looking to develop their skills as a fruit and vine grower in a community setting and in organic viticulture and fruit growing. The trainee will learn the skills required to manage the vineyard and fruit growing areas of Hawkwood, and take on responsibilities for the fruit and vines. You will also pick up skills associated with the weekend harvest schedule and the growing of plants and vegetables across the season. Full role description

Traineeship days: Fridays (yet remembering additional learning opportunities at end of the day on occasional Wednesdays).

 

D. Infrastructure Trainee – 1 role

This traineeship will suit someone wanting to learn a broad range of practical skills which are needed in site development and large scale garden management at community sites. You should be happy working independently, with the OrganicLea Infrastructure Worker, and with volunteers. The trainee will be able to focus in on the aspects of the work which appeal most to them. Full role description

Traineeship days: Fridays (yet remembering additional learning opportunities at end of the day on occasional Wednesdays).

 

E. Herb Trainee – 1 post

This traineeship will suit someone looking to develop their skills within the production of herbal tea blends. The trainee will learn the skills required to harvest and dry herbs growing at Hawkwood, and mix tea blends with specific medicinal/ well-being properties. You will also pick up skills associated with the Friday fruit and vegetable harvest schedule; with maintenance of perennial herb gardens; and the uses and identification of useful wild plants. Full role description

Traineeship days: Two Fridays per month (yet remembering additional learning opportunities at end of the day on occasional Wednesdays).

 

F. Health & Wellbeing – 1 six month post

A placement with the Health and Wellbeing team.  At Organiclea we believe in empowering individuals and communities through sustainable activities, such as food growing, volunteering and nature-based learning.  Our Community Learning & Inclusion team works with vulnerable adults with complex needs, people experiencing ill mental health and neurodiverse adults.  This traineeship opportunity will suit someone keen to understand the procedure and practice of Green Care and Social Prescribing services. Full role description

Traineeship days: Fridays (yet remembering additional learning opportunities at end of the day on occasional Wednesdays)

 

To apply for any of the above roles FIRSTLY please indicate which role(s) you are interested in (if you would like to apply for more than one role please list your preferred 3 in order): Please send a CV or a description of your employment (and volunteering) history; and a covering letter detailing how you meet the person specification and why you want this post to: volunteering@organiclea.org.uk or by post to the Hawkwood address.  For more information about the roles, start by contacting Heidi at: volunteering@organiclea.org.uk/020 8524 4994 (Tuesdays and Fridays are good contact days).

Deadline for applications: 5 pm on Monday 22 February.

Interview dates: Tuesday 2 March, Wednesday 3 March, Friday 5 March.

Start dates in the week beginning 5 April 2021.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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