Volunteering

volunteers-at-the-farm

People can be part of our farm in many different ways. We welcome volunteers to come and muck in. We also run courses and events like our annual Harvest Festival. If you’re with an organisation looking for a fun, wholesome day out, we also run Team Challenge Days.

Why volunteer?

Volunteers come to the farm to learn new skills, share knowledge, meet people and be inspired. We have had more than 3,000 volunteers since 2010 and are always welcoming new people. Keeping a community farm running involves a wide variety of work. Most volunteers help out with practical activities, but we often also have office-based volunteering roles available.

Volunteer roles

Volunteering roles can be split into five categories:

  1. Growing and harvesting: Working with the growing team on the fields (outdoor activity)
  2. VegBox preparation: Weighing, packing and completing customer orders, as well as tidying the packing areas after each session (mostly indoor activity)
  3. Site maintenance and biodiversity: Assisting with DIY tasks, infrastructure, maintaining habitats (outdoor activity)
  4. Administrative: Helping specific administrative roles, such as research and design work (indoor activity)
  5. Events: Particularly during the summer we go to fairs to tell the local community about the farm and encourage people to support us by buying VegBoxes, and to sell food made with farm produce

Please talk to us and specify your interests when filling out the Volunteer Application Form.

When can I come?

Wednesday 10am-5pm: This is our main community volunteering day and there’s lots to do, from planting to harvesting and portioning the produce for our VegBoxes. We also have a shared lunch at 1pm. We ask new volunteers to come on Wednesdays at 10am and recommend that people come and try out volunteering a few times. If you feel it’s suitable then we will give you a full site induction and you can continue to volunteer.

Thursday 8am-1pm and 2-4pm, VegBox packing: On Thursdays (8am-12pm) we prepare our VegBoxes for delivery. This involves working alongside our team in the Veg Shed, packing the produce into bags ready for distribution, and for this role we are looking for volunteers to commit to a longer period. We are currently working towards splitting our packing into two sessions, so if you can only commit to either a morning or afternoon, we’d still love to hear from you – please email vegbox@suttoncommunityfarm.org.uk. While this is our main packing day, there is also an opportunity for outdoor work. We aim to break at 1pm for lunch and if you are joining us, please bring your own food.

Saturdays 10am-4pm: From May to October we are open to volunteers on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of every month (with the exception of July: we are open on Saturday 8th July and Saturday 29th July). From November to May, we are open on the 2nd Saturday of each month. Please bring your own lunch.

Buddy Volunteering

We are looking for new Buddy Volunteers to support our community volunteering days at Sutton Community Farm. This is a programme where we provide training to volunteers who are interested in taking on extra responsibility at the farm, particularly in supporting volunteers who have mental health problems and learning disabilities. Please visit our Buddy Volunteering page to learn more.

Children, vulnerable adults and extra support

We aim to create a welcoming, safe and inclusive space for the community, with equal opportunities central to our mission. If you are supporting a vulnerable adult or consider yourself a vulnerable adult and would like to join in, please contact us. While we do our best to accommodate everyone, we have limited staff capacity and an obligation to ensure a safe workplace.

At present people under the age of 16 are not permitted to volunteer at the farm unless under the supervision of a responsible adult. We have Safeguarding Policies for Vulnerable Adults and Children, as well as an Equal Opportunities Policy and Health & Safety Policy, which are all available upon request.

OK, I’m interested, what next?

If you are interested in coming to volunteer, please contact us to arrange your first visit. Before your first visit, you will be asked to fill out a:

We also ask you read the Volunteer Handbook (PDF) and join the Google Group which is a place for discussing activities at the farm.

Site inductions

After your first few sessions at the farm, you will have a full site induction. This includes a full site tour, discussion of your role and interests and important Health & Safety considerations. We run site inductions on the first Wednesday of every month and on Saturdays.

Additional information

We ask the volunteers to familiarise themselves with our: