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  • Rebecca Armstrong

People care in community gardening: Organiclea Buddy Scheme

Organiclea is looking for volunteer support gardeners at Hawkwood Community Plant Nursery to ‘buddy’ other volunteers who have higher support needs.

In its fourth year, Organiclea’s Buddy Scheme trains volunteers to support others to participate in volunteering at Hawkwood Community Plant Nursery.

Organiclea is growing people as well as plants and we are able to welcomes a diversity of volunteers because of the support given by volunteer buddies.  We support volunteers with learning and physical difficulties, language barriers and ill mental health. We value our diverse community, and recognise that working here can bring enormous benefits.

Through the training session and practical experience, the Buddy Scheme will explore:

  1. ways to create an inclusive atmosphere

  2. how to make practical activities accessible

  3. boundaries and safeguarding

  4. permaculture and people care

  5. how working in nature and in community can bring therapeutic benefits.


This year, we will run the scheme 3 times, each lasting 12 weeks on the following dates;

  1. Week Commencing 25th April – w/c 13th July (Training on Weds 20th Apr)

  2. Week commencing 27th June – w/c 12th Sept (Training on Weds 22nd June)

  3. Week commencing 29th Aug – w/c 14th Nov (Training on Weds 24th Aug)

There is an option to get involved on either Tuesday’s (1-5pm) or on Wednesday’s (10-5pm with lunch provided) so please specify which day you prefer.

Please note above training dates for each scheme. You must be available to attend this before you begin as a Volunteer Buddy.

After each scheme there are opportunities for buddies to gain more practical experience through continued volunteering at Hawkwood or sessional work on Organiclea’s outreach sites

and in conjunction, take their learning further by enrolling onto a Level 2 Health & Social Care Diploma as offered through Waltham Forest Adult Learning Service.


No previous experience required to join– just an enthusiasm for working with people, and an interest in sustainable food systems.

To join or for more information

To apply you will be asked to fill in an application form, including a criminal record disclosure.

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