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

Volunteer at OrganicLea

THANK YOU for expressing interest in volunteering at Hawkwood and for your patience regarding the restrictions we’ve had to put in place on numbers in the Garden.  We are delighted to be able to start opening up again.  All our volunteering starts with an induction day which typically runs from 10:30 – 16:00.  We ask for a commitment to a minimum of 6 sessions after the induction but these needn’t be every week!  Once you have completed an induction day you can then drop in on Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays depending on where you’d like to volunteer.  We can discuss your preferences at the end of your induction day.  Our hope is always that a commitment to volunteering fits your own learning and ‘just being’ goals too.

We currently have 3 different ways to volunteer at Hawkwood: –

Horticultural Assistants & Buddies:  help us grow fruit and vegetables and learn about organic food production.

There is always a range of seasonal activities to do, both in the glasshouse and outside, some more energetic (lifting, shovelling) than others (seed sowing, harvesting). On Fridays we focus our attentions on fruit, on Wednesdays we turn our attention to vegetable production.

Veg Packers:  Tuesday afternoons and Wednesday mornings, join a team of veg box packers who play a vital role in getting local food delivered around the borough.

Feed Waltham Forest!  Volunteers weigh and sort fruit and veg and put them in bags. This role is suitable for volunteers with a wide range of physical abilities.

Cooks:  Wednesday and Friday mornings, help to prepare a shared lunch of local, organic ingredients for all volunteers.


Volunteer cooks, led by a Cooking Teacher, help to prepare a healthy, vegetarian lunch using ingredients harvested from our site, or from other local growers.

Just a helpful note – if you don’t know where we are located (or haven’t been here before), do check it out. We are right on the edge of Northeast London and the trek can take people by surprise: https://www.organiclea.org.uk/contact-us/

Please continue to take care and stay safe. Do read the Covid-19 precautions below:

1. If using buses or trains – you must use a face covering for the journey.
2. You are currently in good health and displaying no symptoms of any illness.
3. If you live in shared accommodation and are a close contact to someone who is displaying covid symptoms, has a positive lateral flow or PCR test – please remain off site until you have a negative PCR test.
4. If you are not fully vaccinated and have been in close contact or live in shared accommodation with someone who has tested positive, you self isolate for 10 days.
5. We ask that you are able to work independently in order to maintain a 1m distance from each other in the gardens.
6. Ideally, you need to bring ideally your own personal items (e.g. cups, gloves, waterproof wear). Lunch is provided on Wednesday and Friday. You need to bring your own packed lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
7. Please remember to bring a face covering with you.