Volunteer

Hear it from our volunteers: a short film capturing the spirit of the Farm, by Ed Young.

The Farm owes so much to all of its fantastic volunteers. They play a vital part in carrying out a huge array of tasks and making the Farm wonderful. We’d like to thank each and every one of them for their hard work and commitment.
There are a few different ways you can start volunteering and get involved, depending on what you would like to do and the commitment you can give us. You can find out all you need to know in the FAQs below:

How do I get started?

With any new volunteers we always suggest you start by coming to an open volunteering session. These run every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, 1-4pm. They are drop in sessions, so there’s no need to book or call ahead, you can just turn up on the day. If it is your first time, then you’ll need to arrive 10 minutes early for a basic induction, otherwise you won’t be able to join the fun!

What is open volunteering?

It’s how the majority of volunteers on the farm get started volunteering here – these are supported volunteering sessions running on Tuesday and Thursdays, 1-4pm. Volunteers work in a group and sessions consist of a bit of everything, from gardening and animal
care to DIY. Sessions always finish with feeding the animals together.

What if I want to volunteer longer term?

You can still volunteer long term through our open volunteering programme. In fact, some of our open volunteers have been coming for 2 or more years. However, if you’d like to volunteer for a full day or on another day of the week, then you’ll need to commit to 1 day a week for at least 3 months. A full day runs 10am-4pm and you can volunteer in animal care (which can be any day of the week) or gardening (currently Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays – we will want help on more days in the summer!). Please think carefully about whether this is the right option for you as it does require commitment. We always
recommend you attend a few open volunteering sessions to get a feel for the place first.

If I commit to a full day a week for at least 3 months, what will I be expected to do?

The long term volunteers are trained in every aspect of animal care/gardening, and do their work independently or in pairs, as opposed to the open volunteering where we work in a group. Long term volunteering requires a greater degree of commitment and independence than attending the open volunteering sessions, and is a great way to help out the farm whilst learning more about the week-to-week changes at the farm, and the differing jobs this entails throughout the year. We start off all of our long term volunteers doing one day a week, asking them to return on the same day each week.

If you’re interested in committing to long term volunteering please fill in the application form (available at http://stepneycityfarm.org/) and return to:

Gardening: shelagh@stepneycityfarm.org

Animal care: tom@stepneycityfarm.org

What if I can’t commit to coming every week for a full day?

If you can’t make a regular commitment for at least 3 months, then you’ll need to volunteer through our open volunteering sessions. See above.

What if I have support needs?

If you have learning difficulties, mental health issues, accessibility requirements or any other support needs, open volunteering may be a good option for you as these sessions are supported – see Q1&2 for details. Please contact us before coming to check whether volunteering at the farm is appropriate for you, e-mail gordon@stepneycityfarm.org
or call 0207 790 8204

Do I need to bring anything with me to volunteer?

For open volunteering sessions and for long term full day volunteering options – either in animal care or gardening – you will need to bring clothes you don’t mind getting mucky. We can provide boots, waterproofs and gloves, but please make sure you bring enough warm /
dry / comfortable clothes to work outside during your volunteering day!

Can I volunteer in the cafe?

Yes. We have long term volunteers helping out in the cafe, who do slightly different shifts, and very different work to the animal and gardening volunteers. The cafe provides a meeting place for our community, serving fresh, local, healthy food.  Our cafe volunteers help out with all aspects of running the cafe – from front of house and coffee making to food prep and washing up.  The cafe sends out an email with volunteer shifts which people sign up to depending on their availability each week.

If you’d like to volunteer in the cafe, please fill in the application form and return to amy@stepneycityfarm.org

Can I volunteer for Furry Tales?

Yes. Our therapeutic project Furry Tales runs animal-assisted activities on Wednesdays (outreach in local residential facilities) and Fridays (onsite at Stepney City Farm) and we often require friendly and empathic volunteers to assist. We tend to work with
vulnerable adults, mostly aged 60+, so volunteers have to be communicative and adaptable. This is quite a unique volunteer role so please consider whether it’s something you’re willing to commit to before getting in touch. You can find out more information at
http://furry-tales.org.uk/

If you’d like to volunteer with Furry Tales, we ask you to attend a minimum of two open volunteering sessions first (see Q1&2 for details). After you’ve been to these, please fill in the application form and return to ione@stepneycityfarm.org who will then get in touch.

I’m under 18, can I still volunteer?

Yes. Young people aged 12-18 are very welcome to join our young volunteers group on a Sunday. The sessions run every Sunday from 1-4pm. You don’t have to come every week. Have a look through the information sheet and emailyouth@stepneycityfarm.org if you have any questions.

On your first Sunday, you need to bring your filled out registration form to the farm at 12.30pm for a health and safety induction. After the induction you can start volunteering straight away. Make sure you wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty/muddy.

Application forms can be downloaded here (scroll to end of page)

Can I volunteer for the Comms Committee?

Yes. We welcome people with expertise in this area. We have a monthly comms meeting where we allocate tasks to committee members. If you are interested in getting involved, please email communications@stepneycityfarm.org

Can corporates volunteer?

Absolutely, read about Corporate Volunteers.

Can community groups volunteer?

Absolutely, read about Community Groups.

More information

For more information please contact volunteer@stepneycityfarm.org

Take a look at what Jasmine, one of our volunteers, has to say about the Farm

A big thank you to the Big Lottery Fund for supporting our volunteering programme.

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