Join our FREE BUDDY TRAINING IN MARCH 2015!!!
We are looking to recruit new buddy volunteers to support the therapeutic gardening programme for mental health service users and people with learning disabilities at Forest Farm Peace Garden. This is a great opportunity for those interested in gaining hands on experience in occupational therapy, therapeutic gardening and adult care. You can enjoy spending time outdoors in the beautiful community garden, learn new skills in permaculture gardening and help our volunteers to feel supported and welcome.
Buddy volunteers are managed by the Ecotherapy Worker and their role is to help make the garden a welcoming and safe space for everyone, especially more vulnerable volunteers. They help to run practical activities and make themselves available to any volunteers who need extra guidance.
You can visit the garden and learn more about the ecotherapy programme at our open morning event: ‘Work and Training Opportunities in the Environmental Sector’ on Friday 27.02.2015 from 11am-1pm. More info here: https://forestfarmpeacegarden.wordpress.com/events/upcoming-and-recent-events/
FREE 3 day buddy training program:
Wednesday 11th March 10:30am-4:30pm – Forest House, Ilford, IG1 1BA
• Introduction to Forest Farm Peace Garden
• What is ‘Therapeutic Gardening’?
• Roles of ‘buddies’ at Forest Farm Peace Garden
• Listening and communication skills
Wednesday 18th March 10:30am-4:30pm – Forest House, Ilford, IG1 1BA
• Introduction to mental health and learning disabilities
• Facilitating volunteering for vulnerable adults
• Relevant policies and procedures
Wednesday 25th March 10:30am-3:30pm – Forest Farm Peace Garden, Hainault, IG6 2XL
• Introduction to permaculture
• Organic food growing
• Site and tool health and safety
• Practical aspects of buddying in the garden
QUALITIES WE LOOK FOR IN A BUDDY
• Available to buddy for two to four sessions per month
• Open minded, friendly and approachable
• An interest in gardening and food growing
• Understanding of mental health—or a willingness to learn
• Discretion and awareness of professional boundaries
• Initiative and leadership skills
• Adaptability and good communication skills
• Support and enthusiasm for Forest Farm Peace Garden’s ethos and aims
PERKS OF BEING A BUDDY
• Travel costs are reimbursed
• Freshly harvested seasonal fruit and vegetables to take home each time you volunteer in the garden
• Follow-up training on relevant areas, e.g. gardening skills, mental health awareness, communication skills and group work.
• Excellent opportunity to learn new skills, or enhance any existing skills
• References available for future work or training applications
• Ecotherapy worker or other member of staff on site during every Therapeutic Gardening session
• Group review meetings and individual support and supervision sessions with the Ecotherapy Worker
This volunteering opportunity is only available upon receipt of a clear Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. We will also request a character reference from a previous employer or teacher.
If you would like to take part in this training, or for more information, please contact:
Tel: 0208 477 1655
Therapeutic gardening at Forest Farm Peace Garden
There is a high demand for outdoor volunteering opportunities for mental health service users and people with learning disabilities. At Forest Farm Peace Garden we run a supported volunteering programme to accommodate this – supported by the Ecotherapy Worker and our Buddy volunteers.
Our participants consistently report that being at FFPG gives them a strong sense of well-being, achievement and belonging.
“I would describe Forest Farm as pleasant and peaceful. Being with the other volunteers and working with them makes me feel like I’m a part of a team. The fresh air and working outdoors makes me feel good. I also enjoy the fact that there are opportunities to engage in workshops about nature and learn more about permaculture and other environmental stuff. FFPG benefits my health and I feel better after a full day of gardening. It is an excellent project.”
Therapeutic Gardening Volunteer
Buddying at Forest Farm Peace Garden
At Forest Farm Peace Garden we run four therapeutic gardening sessions per week on Wednesdays and Fridays:
Morning session – 11am – 1pm
Afternoon session – 2pm – 4pm
As a buddy, your role would be to welcome volunteers and show them around. You would work alongside supported volunteers, being friendly and supportive; making sure they have enough direction and training and are enjoying their volunteering. You would play an important role in helping to support, coordinate and lead daily tasks. We will ask you to buddy for two to four sessions per month. You will be supported by the Ecotherapy Worker and you will have a chance to take part in training on relevant areas, e.g. gardening skills, mental health awareness, communication skills and group work.