Salary: £11.30 / hour

Contract: This position is for occasional cover days in the garden as and when needed. We cannot guarantee regular days so it is offered on zero hours contract basis. The duration of the contract is one year, subject to funding. There will be a three month probation period.

Days: Our garden working days are Wednesdays and Fridays at the garden in Hainault, plus occasional weekend days for events.

Accountable to: Project Manager

Responsible for: Volunteers in the garden including mental health service users and buddy volunteers

Works alongside: Head Gardener, Project Manager and Ecotherapy Worker 


The role of the sessional garden worker is to support our staff in running ecotherapy garden sessions at Forest Farm Peace Garden. You will help to supervise activities and volunteers in a way that creates a welcoming, safe and healing space for all, particularly those with mental health support needs. You will work alongside the Ecotherapy Worker, Head Gardener or Project Manager to run activities in the garden, including planning gardening tasks in consultation with volunteers and offering guidance and support. This role will often cover for staff leave but we commit to always having a minimum of one other paid staff present at garden sessions. 


  • Working alongside supported volunteers – being friendly and supportive, making sure they have enough direction and guidance with tasks and are enjoying their volunteering.

  • Helping to plan gardening tasks in consultation with volunteers. 

  • Welcoming new people to the garden. 

  • Feeding back suggestions, concerns and problems to other staff.

  • Understanding our Safeguarding, Health and Safety and Equal Opportunities policies, and setting a good example for other volunteers.

  • Helping staff members with set up and clear up of the activities.

  • Maintaining professional boundaries when working alongside vulnerable adults and other volunteers. 



  • Experience of working with people with mental health needs in a community and/or formal context.

  • Experience of providing one-to-one support for volunteers with a range of needs and abilities, including high support needs due to mental health or learning disabilities.


  • Good practical knowledge of organic gardening and conservation, and of the benefits of outdoor volunteering in a community setting.

  • Understanding of Safeguarding and of risk assessment and management, both in terms of practical outdoor work and of working with mental health service users.

  • An interest in and knowledge of social and therapeutic gardening or ecotherapy approaches, and permaculture, is desirable. 

Skills and Abilities:

  • Good oral communication skills

  • Ability to work in a team.


To apply for this position please send your up-to-date CV with a covering letter, of maximum 1-side A4, outlining your experience and skills that are relevant to the role. Please also download and complete an Application Form and Equal Opportunities monitoring form. Please email all four documents as .doc or .pdf files to:

Download Application Form

Download Equal Opportunities Form

The closing date for applications is 12pm Thursday 20 September and interviews will be held on Thursday 27 September.

If you have any questions about the role or application process please contact, Kate Allardyce (Project Manager) at: / 07525 131996