Buddy Volunteer 

Buddy Volunteer 
Location: Forest Farm Peace Garden, Ilford IG6 2XL 

Forest Farm Peace Garden is a unique environment and mental health project. Our garden on the edge of London has become an oasis of beauty and tranquility offering an inspiring and welcoming space for people to connect with the therapeutic value of nature. We offer a structured Ecotherapy Programme of gardening and nature-based activities for mental health recovery. The buddy volunteer role provides additional support to people referred to our service to help them get the most out of their time with us.  

Being a buddy is an opportunity to gain skills and hands-on experience in support work and therapeutic gardening, plus receive training focused on mental health, ecotherapy, permaculture and organic horticulture. Buddies can make a huge impact by helping to make our volunteers’ experience in the garden welcoming and purposeful.

Role description:

●     To assist volunteers with support needs and help them with tasks in the garden.

●     To create a safe, friendly and welcoming environment for all.

●     To help with setting up sessions and clearing up after.

●     To assist with workshops and other special events on site.

●     Optional opportunities to lead/co-lead workshops or activities, depending on interests and skills.

●     To participate in evaluation and garden consultations to share ideas and give feedback.

We will provide:

●     Free two day induction training.

●     Two staff members available on site to supervise sessions and to go to for advice.

●     Buddy debrief sessions to reflect and share your experiences with others, and the option of one-to-one supervision with the Ecotherapy Worker/Veteran Buddy where needed.

●     Additional training days during the year.

●     Reasonable travel expenses to training and garden sessions, as agreed in advance.

●     Certificate of recognition and reference on request for future opportunities.

Your commitment:

●     This is a minimum one-year role during our garden opening times (mid-Feb to mid-Dec), although buddies are able to continue for more than one year.

●     Ideally a commitment of two days a month or more volunteering during garden opening times on a Wednesday or a Friday is expected (if this is not possible then a minimum commitment of one day a month is acceptable.)

●     Buddies must be able to attend the two training days. The next dates are Friday 31st January and Friday 7th February 2020.

●     Buddies are required to undertake a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS), due to being directly involved with supporting adults at risk. (FFPG will arrange this.)                                   

Person specification:

●       Ideally some gardening experience, although this is not a requirement for the role as our head gardener and other staff supervise gardening sessions.

●       It would be desirable to have some experience of working with adults with mental health support needs or community volunteering experience.

●       Good communication and group skills, including group decision-making.

●       An interest in and enthusiasm for ecotherapy, organic gardening and wildlife activities.

If you have any further questions about this volunteer role please contact our Ecotherapy Worker Mirjam Johansson: mirjam@forestfarmpeacegarden.org; 07525 125057. 
To apply: Please complete the short application form available on our website: www.forestfarmpeacegarden.org/buddy-volunteers

Please email your completed form to: mirjam@forestfarmpeacegarden.org

Closing date: Sunday 26th January 2020.