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Volunteering

Current Roles

Join us! We’re recruiting for the position of Volunteer Activity Buddy. You can download the full role description and application form for this role below. If you need any further information about the role or want to submit an application form by email, you can send it to volunteering@farmability.org.uk.

(Please note: unfortunately, as a small, local charity we are not able to offer Visa sponsorship to overseas applicants.  If you wish to apply to volunteer with us you will need existing permission to work and live in the UK.)

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Volunteer Role Description
Volunteer Activity Buddy

What is this role?

We’re looking for volunteers who would like the opportunity to get involved in a wide range of outdoor and seasonal activities and support us to run our farm-based programmes, helping adults with learning disabilities to thrive.
Farmability activities are led by paid staff called Programme Leaders, supported by a team of volunteers. In this volunteer role you will help Programme Leaders to run activities. Why do we need you?

Having extra support during activities makes a huge difference to our co-farmers. Co-farmers are adults with learning disabilities, some of whom are also autistic, who attend our farm-based day service. Support from volunteers helps co-farmers feel included and get the most out of being at the farm. It also allows us to offer places to more people who would love to come to FarmAbility and are currently on our waiting list.

What will I be doing?

• You will support programme leaders to deliver a range of activities and sessions to co-farmers – including gardening, woodwork, natural crafts, and egg collecting
• You may help to run games and other entertainment for our co-farmers at lunch and breaktimes
• You will help Programme Leaders to support our co-farmers and make sure their needs are met, adapting activities to make them accessible (for example, breaking down instructions into manageable steps.)
• You may come with us on day trips to visit other farms and growing spaces around the county (outreach partnerships.)

What benefits are there to this role?

• You will become part of the friendly FarmAbility community, providing a real sense of belonging.
• You will gain hands-on experience of helping to lead practical activity sessions. You will learn skills in gardening, woodwork, animal care and more.
• You will gain experience of working with autistic adults and adults with learning disabilities.
• You will receive specialised training (see section on training, below)
• Your travel expenses can be reimbursed, up to value of approximately £5 per day, on agreement with FarmAbility. Methods of transport that can be reimbursed include public transport (on receipt of a ticket), car mileage (45p per mile), bicycle (20p per mile) and motorcycle (24p per mile).
• From time to time, you will take home fresh vegetables, flowers, and more, grown in our own gardens!

What kind of person are you looking for?

We are looking for volunteers who:

• Are 18 or older
• Are happy to work in groups – FarmAbility can be a busy environment!
• Are happy to get involved in a range of outdoor, nature-based and seasonal activities, such as gardening, apple-pressing and egg collecting
• Are reliable and able to be on time
• Are able to show respect and acceptance towards disabled adults
• Are willing to learn how to support autistic adults and adults with a learning disability (you are very welcome if you already have experience of this, but you don’t need any experience to apply!)

All volunteers accepted onto this role will be required to complete an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

What time commitment will I be making?

• Our full day runs from 10am to 4pm.
• We hope volunteers will be able to commit to at least one half day a week (with some flexibility.)
• You can also volunteer for a full day if you would like to.
• We ask our volunteers who support our co-farmers to come on a regular day. Coming on a regular day means that you get to know our co-farmers, and they get to know you.
• We hope that you will volunteer with FarmAbility for at least 6 months.

What training and support will I get?

• You will receive an induction from FarmAbility covering learning disability, autism, how to work with co-farmers, and more.
• You will be invited to team training and days throughout the year, where you will have the chance to learn and share knowledge (and good food!) alongside FarmAbility staff.
• You will be offered access to outdoor first aid training, training in communicating with people with learning disabilities, and more.
• You will benefit from regular check-ins with your staff contact. Day-to-day support will be available from any member of staff.
• There will be opportunities for growth and additional responsibilities.
• If there is a particular activity or project you would like to develop, we are very open to this and will help you to do this.

Location

One of our farm sites across Oxfordshire. These are the Blenheim Estate, Wytham, Long Hanborough, and Hampton Gay near Kidlington.

At the moment we’re especially looking for volunteers who are able to join us on Tuesdays, Thursdays or Fridays, although we’d be delighted to speak to anyone who is available on any day.

Can you help us tackle our grass at Wytham?

What?
We are looking for an energetic volunteer to mow the grass in the Orchard and Farmyard once a week in the summer months (May to September.)

Why?
Having our grass under control would really help people with impaired mobility to move around the site more easily.

When?
Mondays or Wednesdays. It could be done in the morning or the afternoon – starting at around 9.30 or 12, with some flexibility.

Further details
The Orchard would be mown alone, as this is a difficult job for co-farmers due to our mole friends (who make the ground uneven!)

Ideally, you would support co-farmers to mow the Farmyard.
(This is an easier job for co-farmers and can be fun!) We will provide a petrol mower.

Can you help us?
Please email volunteering@farmability.org.uk to ask about this role or complete the online form below. 

What can I help with?

Sometimes we recruit for specific roles, such as Volunteer Activity Buddy. These volunteers support co-farmers during activities around the farm, providing encouragement and guidance, and sharing their energy and skills with co-farmers.

However, if this isn’t your thing, there are other things we’d love your help with too! For example, some volunteers provide much-needed expertise in financial accounting, or practitioner knowledge such as occupational therapy.

What are the benefits?

Volunteers enjoy our friendly atmosphere, quickly becoming part of the FarmAbility team of staff, co-farmers and other volunteers, and appreciate the chance to do rewarding work while gaining new skills and experience in a beautiful, outdoor setting.

How to get involved

We welcome volunteers from many different walks of life, and we’d love to hear from you if you would like to explore a volunteering role with FarmAbility. To find out more about volunteering, please contact us on volunteering@farmability.org.uk.

We are always happy to talk about how you might be able to support us in our work. We may arrange a short interview, just to check FarmAbility and you will fit well together.

After this, if you would like to come and find out what it would be like to be a volunteer, we would be happy to arrange a taster session for you.

Then, if you agree you would still like to volunteer, we can decide on a location, time, and your first day with us!

Your commitment

We ask our volunteers who support our co-farmers to come on a regular day each week. This can be for a whole day (our co-farmers are with us on weekdays from 10am – 4pm) or for a part of that time, depending on your personal circumstances. Coming on a regular day means that you get to know our co-farmers, and they get to know you.

Holidays and other commitments

Sometimes people tell us that they’re not sure if they can be a volunteer as they have occasional other commitments or would need time away for family or personal reasons. However, please don’t worry about that: we appreciate whatever time our volunteers can give us and completely understand that our volunteers have lives. All we ask is that our volunteers give us as much notice as possible so that we can plan our schedules in advance: this means that we can help our co-farmers make the most of their time here.