Our volunteer and training programme provides a full-time, year round garden maintenance and food growing project working directly with volunteers who have either been referred from partner organisations or have time to share with their local community.
Participants are supported to develop gardening and horticultural skills across a number of areas they have an interest in. These include:
- growing food for their own consumption
- propagating plants from seeds and cuttings for sale
- maintaining growing spaces and herbaceous borders
- organising and / or participating in cultural food growing events
We also offer training based work where participants can complete tasks to gain accredited certificates and go onto further training. The Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) Unit Award Scheme has a number of units covering plant propagation, introduction to greenhouse management and vegetable growing etc. Volunteers are supported to select and complete the relevant units.
The majority of volunteers have either a learning disability or mental health issue and, in many cases, have become socially isolated as a result. We use gardening, particularly food growing, as a specific tool for engaging with disadvantaged groups. Gardening offers a form of gentle therapeutic exercise suitable for people of all abilities. For those with physical disabilities, we have ensured that our gardening space is accessible to people in wheel chairs. Our volunteers are directly supported both one to one and in groups by our Volunteer Manager. This close working arrangement provides the perfect opportunity for volunteers to discuss future planned projects, other interests and their own personal development. More practically, it enables volunteers to be involved in all aspects of the development of individual gardening and food growing projects.
For information on volunteering at the Calthorpe Project contact :
Gaven Duffy : Volunteer Manager on 020 7837 8019