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

Volunteer Placements

The volunteering placements listed below are for our volunteers who are already familiar with Organiclea and the Hawkwood site.  They are for those who would like to spend some time working alongside our practitioners and growers, giving them further knowledge of the projects and opportunities at Hawkwood.

Harvest Hand volunteering placements (x1) Starting Tuesday 5th October for 12 weeks:

A different kind of volunteering opportunity. Hands-on production training at the harvest end of our market gardening work: Tuesdays, 11am-5pm. Opportunity involves getting closer to our work as you help with plant care linked to harvesting, weighing, quality control and packing of produce. We ask for a regular commitment to help give good training in tasks and predict capacity. It’s a 12 week placement, an opportunity to spend time at the ‘letting go’ end of the growing operation – often regarded as taking us much closer to the plants with some quite specific horticultural training linked to this (lots of systems learning too!). Don’t forget your packed lunch.

Contact: volunteering@organiclea.org.uk if this could be for you.

Volunteer Support placements (x3) starting with an induction on Friday 22nd October:

Would  you like to make supporting others a bigger part of your volunteering? We currently have 3 volunteer learning placement roles that involve partnering with individuals or groups to enable them to participate and build initial confidence in the garden, or ask you to be a ‘mindful presence’ on horticultural and other tasks. These are Friday placements, for 12 weeks (out of 15 week time frame), allowing you to work alongside 2 cohorts of supported volunteers. The opportunity starts with an afternoon workshop on Friday 22nd October; with horticultural support opportunities from Friday 5th  November 10.45 – 4.

Over the 12 weeks you will: Achieve AQA Award – Supporting Volunteers to take part in a community project; Experience supporting individuals to participate in a community garden setting; Gain insights into organising linked to Organiclea’s volunteering programme of activities and events; Work with a designated contact person and be supported in timetabled reflective practice sessions; Be part of the horticultural team and the work that links people with plants here at Hawkwood.
You will be an important part of welcoming back a supported volunteering activity – a very welcome return. The ‘volunteer support’ placement at the Hawkwood Plant Nursery offers a structured opportunity to be part of a learning team set up to encourage other volunteers who have support needs – including neurodiversity, physical limitations and recovery from mental ill health.

Contact: activities@organiclea.org.uk for a fuller role description.


Teaching Assistants (TA) – want to share the learning in the garden, starting in October:
New learners for Level 1 and Level 2 courses will be starting in October.
Firstly, we are looking for two volunteer teaching assistants (TAs) to support our City and Guilds level 1 courses running this Autumn. One is a Tuesday (starting 5 October for 10 weeks. 9.15am start) and the other on a Wednesday (starting 13 October for 10 weeks. 9.30am start). This opportunity will suit those who are keen to build their own facilitating experience in the garden as a learning setting .
It would help if you already have some experience of supporting learning, a basic knowledge of the Hawkwood site and organic techniques and an ability enthuse learners – keeping them motivated when the monotony of work-based learning in the Autumn garden hits them!
This is a great opportunity to work 1-1 with a course tutor and with a fixed cohort of always inpsiring learners at Hawkwood. You will understand more about the Hawkwood design and working principles too – and have opportunity to feed in your own learning inspirations along the way. There is also an opportunity for the TA to complete the Level 1 Award qualification themselves, but could also be for a recent Level 1 graduate keen to share learning and encourage others.
To express interest in this opportunity,

Contact: courses@organiclea.org.uk before 24 September 2021.

There are also opportunities to TA with the forthcoming longer Level 2 ‘Practical Horticultural Skills’ course (Mondays, 10-1.30) and Level 2 extended ‘Horticulture’ (Thursdays, 10.30-4.30). These Level 2, TA opportunities require you to have already completed a Level 2 qualification and experience of the Hawkwood site. Contact courses@organiclea.org.uk for more information if this might be for you.

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