WANTED Freelance Community Gardener – 16 days

January and February 2020

8 Sessions on Mondays

8 Sessions on Fridays

We are looking for a freelance Community Gardener to join our community, initially to cover holiday over the winter but with the potential for more work in the future funding allowing.

This is an opportunity that would suit a freelance community worker, a gardener whose business is quiet over the winter months or someone trying to get some work after gaining experience as a volunteer in a community gardening or conservation setting.

Community Gardens is in Archway, North Islington. As a community gardens local volunteers run Sunnyside and do all the maintenance and gardening work that needs to be done to keep it looking beautiful. Sunnyside also has a long history of providing therapeutic horticulture for people with disabilities, and those recovering from illness. This means we are a truly diverse community with a real mix of local residents involved. We have been here since 1977, and registered as a charity in 1992. Our program this year is to get more people involved in the Gardens and also to improve the space for nature and the local community.

This role would involve:

Working on a Monday and/or Friday

You are paid for an 8 hour day, but Sunnyside is open from 10am till 4pm where you will be expected to be on site the whole time. You will have an opportunity to have lunch and tea breaks with volunteers but you will not be able to go off site during these times or organise personal business. Therefore the two additional hours in each day are to cover your breaks and also any meetings, planning, shopping, preparation and write up time that you need to complete the role.

The pay will be: £100 per day. You will need to be self-employed, invoice us every month and be responsible for your own tax.

We have funding for a community gardener to work with our volunteers and the local community for the three days we are open; Currently we need holiday cover for Mondays and/or Fridays in January and February 2020. We understand that people will be fitting this around other work and commitments so we welcome applications for either or both of the days.

All applicants must have;

  • Worked or volunteered with voluntary groups


  • Have gardening or conservation experience

As the post may involve contact with vulnerable adults, a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service check will be required in the event of a successful application. A criminal record will not necessarily be a bar to obtaining the position.

Sunnyside Community Gardens has an Equal Opportunities Policy. The requirements for outdoor work in areas with access difficulties should be borne in mind by applicants.

To apply, please email a covering letter (see personal specification below) and a copy of your CV to Anna Portch at sunnysidecommunitygardencentre@gmail.com. The application deadline is 10 am, Friday 13th December 2019 and Interviews will be held on Tuesday 17th December 2019. Please make clear in your application which of the days you are applying for;

  • Mondays – Green Gym, our most active day with volunteers gardening to get fit and eat a healthy lunch together
  • Fridays – Drop in Gardening day, a fun day where people get lots of gardening done and enjoy a social lunch together

General Person Specification


  • Knowledge & competence in horticulture, food growing or practical conservation
  • Experience of volunteering
  • Experience of community settings
  • Good communication skills, ability to manage own time, workload and priorities
  • Experienced in working with a range of people from a very diverse range of backgrounds and a wide range of abilities
  • Happy to have a DBS check
  • First Aid certificate


  • Basic knowledge of cooking & healthy eating
  • Happy to become part of the Sunnyside Community
  • Experience working with corporate volunteers
  • Food Hygiene certificate

The successful candidate may be asked to join occasional trustee meetings and community celebrations out of the normal working hours.

Job Description

The freelance will develop and deliver food growing, community gardening and practical nature conservation volunteering days that engage residents and community members, including people from diverse backgrounds and with additional needs. The post holder will utilise their strong horticulture and/or conservation expertise to support groups and individuals to build their own skills, confidence and therefore project sustainability.

Project work available to the freelancer is varied and will include community gardening; food growing; garden maintenance; occasional development and design of new garden projects in collaboration with community stakeholders; horticultural training; capacity building; volunteer engagement; and supervising corporate volunteering task days.

The community gardener will devise and lead gardening activities and help volunteers and clients develop gardening skills, knowledge and confidence. S/he will welcome and induct new volunteers and help foster an inclusive and mutually supportive community.

You will utilise your excellent communication skills in engaging individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds and varied age groups, adapting gardening activities to insure all can participate, including those with English as an additional language. You will always be on site with one other person usually another freelancer, experienced volunteer or trustee.

On a typical day you will;

  • Plan the days gardening tasks by liaising with the manager, regular freelancers, volunteers an trustees on the Conservation and/or Gardening Sub Committee
  • Open up Sunnyside
  • Welcome volunteers and make tea for everyone at Sunnyside at the beginning of the day
  • Give induction to new volunteers
  • Encourage volunteers to be friendly and inclusive
  • Explain the day’s tasks to volunteers
  • Make sure that everyone has the support they need to join in
  • Show volunteers where the tools are and how to use safely and put away the tools
  • Help volunteers & clients learn and develop gardening & conservation skills
  • Prepare (or organise volunteers to prepare) Lunch
  • Have lunch with everyone, ensure that everyone is included
  • Ensure tools are put away after each work session
  • Alert volunteers of special activities phone, Whatsapp and/or emails. Call regular volunteers who haven’t shown up.
  • The community gardener will work in liaison with the Management Committee’s Gardening and Conservation sub-committee and will be able to contribute towards plans to develop and maintain the gardens.
  • Lead/ encourage/ assist growing up of plants in the nursery area and polytunnel for use in garden or for sale. Keep the nursery area tidy and plants labelled

Sunnyside is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building a work environment that is both diverse and accessible. You will receive consideration for employment regardless of race, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, or age.

To Apply:

Please email Anna Portch at sunnysidecommunitygardencentre@gmail.com a CV and short cover letter outlining how your experience relates to the personal experience

Application deadline 10 am, Friday 13th December 2019

Interviews Tuesday 17th December 2019

Working hours / dates 10 am – 4pm + 2 hours One day a week on either on a Mon and/or Fri depending on role starting on the week beginning Monday 6th January 2020

Wage  £100 per day (self-employed)