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Community Growing Project Volunteer

Our Organisation 

Our Organisation Sydenham Garden, based in Lewisham in South-East London, is a unique wellbeing centre utilising its gardens, nature reserve and activity rooms to help people in their recovery from mental and physical ill-health. We provide nature and arts based creative, social and therapeutic activities for co-workers (the name we give to our primary beneficiaries).  

We offer a range of projects catering to various groups: African Caribbean, Art & Craft, Garden, Growing Lives, m.u.d. (for young people aged 18-25) and Practical Organic Gardening for mental health referrals, and Sow & Grow, for dementia referrals.  

We also deliver volunteer-led Clubs, community lunches and public fairs and festivals which involve our whole community. 

About the Project 

Mental health and wellbeing are significant issues for our local community. The pandemic highlighted the importance of social connections and connection to nature.  

In this project we are partnering with Hyde Housing Association to co-design sessions with their residents and neighbours to utilise green spaces near their homes and at our De Frene Market Garden. The sessions will run in the evenings and on weekends (days and times to be determined following discussions with the community) to increase access for people with caring responsibilities or those who work during the day.  

About the Volunteer Role:  

Do you want to give back to your community? Gain new skills and experiences?  

This volunteer role is an important part in helping to enable residents of social housing to connect with local green spaces and to improve their wellbeing, mental health and social connections. 

The basic role requirement is to have an interest in volunteering with people from a wide range of backgrounds who face barriers to accessing green spaces, helping the project facilitator to create an inclusive and welcoming environment. You will need to have an interest in gardening and working outside. 

This role will be subject to an Enhanced DBS check, as you may be involved in working with vulnerable adults. 

Role Description 

  • This role is primarily to assist the project facilitator with the delivery of outreach activities and nature-based sessions in public and residential green spaces as well as our De Frene Market Garden. 
  • Help to set up sessions and participate in giving feedback when sessions end. 
  • Help implement the relevant Health and Safety procedures with the supervision, guidance and support of the Project Facilitator. 
  • To be an active part of the team, working with the Project Facilitator to support participants during sessions, welcoming them into the project, helping them meet other people and orientating them to the site. 

We are looking for people with the following abilities: 

  • Great communication skills. You will need to be the sort of person who wants to communicate and enjoys meeting people and has an understanding that it takes time to get to know someone 
  • Demonstrate a high level of sensitivity and an awareness to the needs of individuals from diverse backgrounds 
  • Be patient in the delivery of activities, always having the time to listen to and support individuals during the session 
  • Be non-judgemental, open and accepting 
  • You will have a cheerful and enthusiastic approach to helping participants with their activities   
  • It is desirable that you will have knowledge of health issues, mental health and physical disabilities in particular, but not essential. 
  • Willingness and ability to work to the agreed session plan  
  • Some gardening knowledge is desirable 
  • Ability to work as part of a team is a key aspect of the role 
  • Be reliable with good punctuality and attendance  
  • Be willing to listen and learn from your experiences 
  • A full UK driving license is desirable but not essential 

 Volunteer Gains 

  • Experience of working in a community organisation 
  • Experience of working with and meeting new people 
  • Experience of Community Gardening 
  • Support and training will be given  
  • Leadership and motivation skills 
  • Skills development in social and therapeutic horticulture 
  • News and updates about activities within the sector 

Availability

Sessions will be delivered evenings and weekends – days and times to be determined following discussions with the community.

Location 

The De Frene site is located up track between houses 35 and 37 De Frene road, Sydenham, London, SE26 4AB 

See link for location map  

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zJ2HZN-GE8BI.kx51Q8E_rvm4 

Is this role for you?!  

Complete our online Application and Equality & Diversity Monitoring form. 

Or contact Charlene if you have any questions:  

Tel: 07421 126217  Or email: charlene@sydenhamgarden.org.uk  

(Working days are Tuesday and Thursday)

 

 

 

 

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