Quiche made with vegetables from the farm

Volunteering

Volunteering at the gardens offers people the chance to make a difference in the local community. Not only does it enable you to tend to the gardens and get involved in events but it is also a chance to meet new people, learn new skills and give time to others.
New volunteers often have no experience of gardening and are supported by staff and other volunteers.
Many of our volunteers are referred to us by other agencies in the borough and have some support needs. Regular volunteers find they experience improvements to health and wellbeing as a result of working outside with nature and undertaking physical activity.
There are many ways to get involved in our work but initially we ask people who are interested in volunteering their time to attend one of our monthly induction sessions that are held on the first Wednesday and Sunday of the month. Please email volunteering@hcga.org.uk

Grow Well – Volunteer sessions for individuals

Through our 12 week programme (Tuesdays 10am – 12pm) volunteers are able to try a range of practical gardening activities. This programme is aimed at people who initially need a bit of extra support to increase their confidence and hopefully leading to participate in our regular volunteering sessions. A number of our existing volunteers also attend the sessions in the role of peer mentors and this allows new volunteers to undertake activities at their own pace. At the end of the programme volunteers have an individual review and are signposted on to other suitable sessions within the organisation or externally.

Grow Well – Volunteer sessions for carers

Our termly programme for carers (Tuesdays 1-3pm) includes a wide range of gardening related activities. The relaxed sessions allow carers to take a break from their caring responsibilities as well as learning new skills and trying new activities.

Get Out There!

Through our weekly Friday volunteer sessions participants learn a range of useful and rewarding new skills in basic environmental management. Gain practical conservation management skills, experience in tool use, improve your wildlife identification and lots more! Volunteers get the opportunity to visit larger more varied sites across London such as woodlands, wetlands and meadows, as well as our own sites and gardens in Hammersmith. Our sessions are open to adults who want to try something new and Get Out There!

We are particularly interested in working with people who have been long term unemployed. You don’t need any experience to join in. For more information please look at the Get Out There! page.

Weekly Gardening Sessions

RAVENSCOURT PARK GLASSHOUSES: WEDNESDAYS 10AM – 12PM

At the glasshouses we grow flowers, fruit and vegetables for Loris and Godolphin Gardens, plant sales, schools and nurseries.

Phoenix School Farm and Learning Zone: Tuesdays and Fridays 10am – 1pm, Thursdays 4-6pm (from 20th April 2017)

Assist with the upkeep of the farm including seed sowing, planting, harvesting and watering. These volunteer sessions for adults run all year round and require a regular commitment.

Monthly Workdays

Loris Garden: 11am – 3pm first Sunday of the month

Regular upkeep of Loris Garden is undertaken at monthly drop in gardening days. Tasks will include planting, watering, mowing, weeding, pond clearance, wildlife surveys as well as seasonal activities such as pruning, bulb planting and leaf sweeping. Stay for an hour or stay all day. Please check the events page for dates and further information.

Phoenix School Farm and Learning Zone:

From April, 10am-2pm, Monthly Saturday Farm sessions. The sessions are ‘drop in’ and are open to volunteers to work on the farm combined with activities for children and families. Sessions will run on the last Saturday of each month until October, and each session will have a different theme, based around growing cooking and eating. For further details please see our events page.

HCGA has been awarded the Experts in Volunteering Mark by Greater London Volunteering

Other ways to contribute

We welcome volunteers with many different skills, not just gardeners. Skills can range from: event organisation, art and design, wildlife surveyors, legal knowledge, photography, plant propagation, financial knowledge, musical interest, conservation, accountancy, leafleting, office skills and construction skills.

In our own words…
“I’ve been volunteering with HCGA for nine months now. It’s a great opportunity to get outside and help out with the gardens and the company is pretty good too!” Mairi Brookes

Jobs

HCGA has a pool of sessional staff and we are always interested in hearing from people who have the following skills and are looking for part-time or occasional work:

  • Good gardening or food growing skills and experience
  • Good people skills
  • The ability to work unsupervised
  • The ability to plan and lead sessions
  • Experience of working with volunteers or children

To apply please e mail your CV to info@hcga.org.uk, applications will considered on an on-going basis.