This week’s top five volunteering opportunities

April 22, 2016

1.Cleaner, Greener Volunteers 

Bow ChurchWhere: Bow Church
When: First Saturday of the month from 7th May 10.00-13.00 
Commitment level: Low
Category: Gardening, Conservation

Cleaner Greener Volunteers are looking for people to help them maintain and develop the gardens at Bow Church. The church is set for restoration in 2017, and this is the beginning of a project to make a garden which is equally attractive. There is also a vegetable growing project onsite, to provide crops for the church’s weekly food bank. If you are interested please contact Chris Gennings. Email: christine.gennings@towerhamlets.gov.uk Phone: 020 7364 3757.

2. Imagine Mainstream – Mentors

imagine1Where: Wallington, SM6 0EX
When: Flexible – Monday to Friday, morning or afternoons
Commitment level: Regular Commitment
Category: Mental Health, Employment, Mentoring

Imagine Mainstream supports individuals with mental health problems into paid employment and/or volunteering.
Mentoring Service Mentors will work directly with clients to help them become more independent. Mentors will provide support for clients to achieve practical goals, for example; improving wellbeing, getting into a routine and volunteering. Mentors provide a safe space for clients to talk through difficulties and find their own answers.

For more information and to register your interest, please click this link.

3.Richard House Children’s Hospice – Fundraisers

Richard HouseWhere: Woolwich Ferry
When: 14th and 15th May 
Commitment level: Low
Category: Fundraising, Bucket Collecting

Richard House Children’s Hospice are looking for some volunteers to join them in raising money to go towards important equipment and projects at the Hospice. If you are interested, please contact Rachel Green. Email: RachelG@richardhouse.org.uk Phone: 02075400230

4. Deen City Farm – Farm Support Volunteers

Deen city farmWhere: Deen City Farm, SW19
When: Flexible
Commitment Level: Regular Commitment
Category: Animals, Outdoors, Young People
Deen City Farm is a community farm offering a free family days out. They work with a wide range of farm animals, provide riding lessons, weekend and holiday play schemes, educational tours and visits to local schools.
Deen City Farm is looking for people to support other volunteers, who may have disabilities or mental health issues in their work at the Farm. Volunteers can also assist with Farm Tours for local schoolchildren or evening groups and kids’ activities during school holidays.
To apply, complete an application form and send to the farm’s Volunteer Coordinator at the email below. Get in touch for more information, either by calling 020 8545 2171 or emailing volunteers@deencityfarm.co.uk.

5.Plumstead Make Merry Festival
plumstead make merryWhere: Plumstead Common
When: 11th June 
Commitment Level: Low
Category: Children, sport and outdoor activities

On Saturday June 11th, 5000 people will head to Plumstead Common for a day of music, arts and activities that celebrate the history of the area and its diverse community. The festival is put together solely by volunteers. They are looking for event stewards on the day to help with the smooth running of the event. To find out more and apply for the opportunity, click here.

Spotlight on Xilona

February 17, 2016

Xilona moved into a large shared property in Morden in November as one of our first volunteer live-in organisers. Since then she has been very active organising local volunteer days for her fellow guardians. As a conservationist and environmentalist herself, Xilona has done great work introducing her housemates to volunteering in the outdoors.

She had this to say about their most recent volunteer expedition to Deen City Farm:

‘Simon from the farm emailed me with thanks for organising the days, bringing in help to the farm and that the guys worked really hard! I had feedback from the house and they have really enjoyed the gardening, so much so that all of us chatted about it yesterday and agreed that we would love to do it again. So, I have coordinated another day at the farm for this Saturday!’

In addition to helping out at the local farm, Xilona had previously coordinated several of her housemates to help with the clean-up of a local river, the river Wandle. This has led to a string of opportunities with the Wandle Trust in the area, who are grateful for the guardians continued support.

    Guardians Volunteering at the River Wandle

Xilona has also helped guardians in Morden pursue their own interests in volunteering.  One guardian has been put in touch with a hospice round the corner to start helping out there. Several have been active promoting the work of Olio, a social enterprise that aims to tackle domestic food waste. We think it’s great that our Morden guardians are contributing so much to the community and having so much fun in the process.

Well done Xilona and all our guardians in Morden!

Get involved

  • If you’re interested in volunteering and becoming a guardian with dot dot dot, apply here today
  • Keep up to date with our news and our guardians’ volunteering experiences on Facebook and Twitter

December’s Guardian Spotlight: Tom

December 18, 2014

    

Tom_Workshop (1)This month we caught up with Tom Hepworth; volunteer at the Rural Arts Centre at Stepney City Farm.

Having joined Dot Dot Dot in October, Tom has already given over 50 hours of his time assisting at the wood workshop, helping to build and organise projects and workshops for the local community as well as developing  the Rural Arts Centre’s workspace itself.

Completed in 2013, the Rural Arts Centre is a unique facility amongst all of London’s City Farms. It aims to preserve and promote those trades, crafts and arts which were once an intrinsic part of our daily lives but are now at risk of being lost from today’s society. It hopes to achieve this through environment, observation, engagement and education. A working city farm, in one of the poorest and most crowded Boroughs in the UK, Stepney City Farm is a valuable community asset. It helps the local community in a variety of ways including; providing volunteering  opportunities, open green areas for neighbours to meet and children to play, and a stimulating setting for schools to provide an alternative to classroom­based learning.

Every Saturday Tom facilitates the open studio, where the public are invited in to learn about the rural arts and traditional woodwork that Tom specialises in. Most recently Stepney City Farm held a ‘Craft your own Christmas’ Crafty Saturday where people joined Tom and other resident artists to make Christmas gifts and cards as well as hand carved Christmas Elves. Tom also works closely with the Rural Arts Centre delivering free workshops for unemployed residents of Tower Hamlets.

Crafting Christmas elves at Stepney City Farm Crafty Saturday Crafting Christmas elves at Stepney City Farm Crafty Saturday

Crafting Christmas elves at Stepney City Farm Crafty Saturday Crafting Christmas elves at Stepney City Farm Crafty Saturday

Tom told us a little more about his experience volunteering: 

“The variety of jobs and projects I am involved in is great, however it’s the interaction with the public and other farm volunteers, particularly on Crafty Saturdays, which I find most satisfying and rewarding.  Children love the workshop space; the sight of tools and old wooden machines that they’ve never seen before, the chance to pick up and play with wood shavings, the experience of seeing people working and making things that they wouldn’t normally get to see, and the overall sensory excitement of workshop. It’s a real pleasure to see their faces light up and to answer their questions.

A similar childlike joy is visible in the adults who enter our space and have the opportunity to try wood turning on a traditional pole-lathe, or to make a functional spatula on a hand-built shave horse. These open studio sessions spark inspiration for further involvement and an excitement at the possibility of learning new skills or pursuing alternative forms of employment. They also help the farm to provide a positive and interactive space for local people to spend time, for free, as families or as individuals. Children and adults alike have the opportunity to engage with sights, people and ideas that they might otherwise never have, especially if they have lived their whole lives in the centre of London.”

Get involved
There are number of volunteering opportunities at Stepney City Farm ranging from weekly drop in sessions lending a hand with whatever is needed, to time spent developing the farm’s garden, undertaking  animal duties or getting involved in the farm’s youth and education programme.

Spring time party at the farm

March 26, 2014

What better place to be at this time of year than at the farm. With new life springing up everywhere from the colourful fields of food and flowers, to the new arrivals of lambs and kids (baby goats – not lost children!) – it really is the best venue for a party.

So last week we got together at Stepney City Farm with our guardians and supporters to celebrate all the fantastic volunteering they are doing and generally just to have a good time. There was some fantastic food from the brilliant FoodCycle Cafe, which always goes down a treat, made from food that would otherwise go to waste. We got to tuck into a selection of cakes and savoury bites, which were absolutely delicious.

There was of course also the chance to get to meet the farm’s newest residents – two incredibly cute baby goats which proved to be very popular with everyone. All in all it was a great evening and we want to say thank you to everyone who came and also big thanks to Stepney City Farm and FoodCycle for everything!

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Jasmine Morris on Volunteering with GoodGym

September 16, 2013

“Running’s pointless. All you do is start at one point and run in a big circle until you are back where you began.”

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this, most of the time given as an excuse from people who don’t want to run and see no value in it. And I must admit at times I feel the same which is why GoodGym is a great incentive!

GoodGym - jasmine

In short, GoodGym takes groups of people who want to run and gathers them all in one place on a weekly basis.From that meeting place everyone runs together to a local community organisation or project which needs volunteers for a short amount of time.

The runners run in, get the job done and then run away again, back to where they started.

 

I have been going to GoodGym (almost) every week since Christmas and the range of activities and community organisations I have gotten to know over that time has been fantastic – one week I could be turning compost on Stepney City Farm to painting the inside of a local Church. I must admit there has been A LOT of poo shovelling and compost turning and although it is smelly work it is something I wouldn’t have a chance to experience if I was running for hours on a treadmill staring at a wall in my local gym.

But GoodGym is even more than this; they also match runners up to local older people who could do with a bit of company. The idea is that you run to your GoodGym coach (older person) have a chat and run away again. Seeing my GoodGym coach, Veronica, is always the highlight of my week. She gets me out there for a run even when it is the last thing I want to do because I know that she is waiting to see me. We get the chance to chat about everything from how gorgeous George Clooney is to the lack of local pubs and the subsequent breakdown of community!

So, there you have it, running doesn’t have to be pointless!

If you would like to come along to a GoodGym run just drop in to any session, they run from different areas on different nights – Monday = Tower Hamlets, Tuesday = Hackney and Wednesday = Camden.

– Jasmine Morris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Volunteering at Stepney City Farm Cafe

July 17, 2013

Herbal remedies down at Stepney City Farm

If you can’t stand the heat…get into the Kitchen!  Another fun and frantic volunteering session at Stepney City Farm Cafe on Friday where the heat is on as word spreads about the delicious nosh and refreshments on offer.  Jassy and Amy are stupendous to volunteer for – keeping the atmosphere in the cafe constantly friendly and welcoming.  Amidst the heat of kitchen and seemingly never-ending amounts of washing up came wonderful wafts of mint and other herby delights to lift the spirits and spur me on – oh and the mint-choc-chip ice cream at the end of the day was simply bliss!  Come along and get refreshed!

 

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