ActivLives is looking to recruit keen gardeners who enjoy working alongside others to its core volunteer team.

Where you’ll be working : The People’s Community Garden, Maidenhall Allotments and the CRESS Pavilion, Ipswich, Suffolk IP2 8RE.

About ActivGardens
ActivGardens are part of Suffolk-based charity ActivLives. Our community garden is a lively, inspiring and very busy community site which supports people to lead active, healthy lifestyles, learn and share skills, and contribute to their community. Our projects work with a wide range of people, including long-term unemployed, people experiencing mental ill health, depression and anxiety, people with disabilities, young people, older people, and refugees and asylum seekers. We also work with local schools and welcome community groups, local business and other visitors.

What you’ll be doing :
We mainly need people who are confident gardeners and can help keep on top of the work. We also need people who enjoy helping and supporting others, and can assist staff in the smooth-running of the day on this busy site.

Main tasks include the following:

  • Working as part of the core volunteer team to maintain the community garden, which includes traditional vegetable plots, sensory garden, herb spiral, polytunnel cropping/ propagation, orchard and fruit-growing, nature conservation areas.
  • Working alongside the people we support to help them get the most out of their sessions
  • Assisting staff in organising and running the day
  • Helping run group sessions, including school groups and groups of young people
  • Assisting in organising and running events
  • Contributing to development of the gardens and its projects
  • Option to get involved with woodworking/ carpentry, cooking, beekeeping, other specialisms

You will gain skills in:

  • Working with a wide range of people, including people with needs; children and young people; refugees and asylum seekers
  • Public engagement
  • Gardening and horticulture
  • Nature conservation and beekeeping (optional)
  • Events organisation

Training available:

First Aid, Safeguarding and other relevant training

The time you need to give:
We are ideally looking for a minimum commitment of 3 hours per week, for a set time each week – although we understand you may need a level of flexibility.

The skills you need:

We are looking for team players with a positive, friendly attitude and excellent communication skills, who enjoy working with people of all ages and abilities. We need people with an active, hands-on approach, with a willingness to tackle a wide range of garden-related and other tasks.  Gardening/ horticultural experience will be an asset, but confidence, initiative and good organisational skills are also important.

  • Experience of working or volunteering with people with needs is desirable but not essential.
  • Skills associated with woodwork, nature conservation, cooking/ hospitality / catering, community education/ teaching, PR / events, will be an advantage.
  • Experience of working or volunteering with children and young people is desirable but not essential.
  • You may be able to contribute a specialist craft skill (eg flower arranging, art, crafts etc – please let us know!) – we are open to new ideas and projects.

What you’ll get out of it: 
Volunteering with us is suitable for people who have a keen interest in community gardening/ food growing projects and/ or nature conservation and enjoys working alongside other people. You will gain experience of working in the charity sector as part of a diverse, award-winning community project.

Contact details:  Please fill out our application form and email to Ian Hirst, ActivGardens Operations Officer Alternatively, please post to ActivLives, Brightspace, 160 Hadleigh Road, Ipswich IP2 0HH. If you have any questions, or would like an informal chat about the role, please call Ian on 07725 327819 or ActivLives 01473 345350.

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