Our volunteers are the heart and soul of the farm and their energy and passion is crucial to everything we do. We have many volunteer roles and whether you are interested in animals, cooking, gardening, or just want to get involved in any way you can, there is a role at the farm for you!
The Junior Volunteers at weekends have a brilliant time, learning not just about the animals but about themselves, and the value of team work and responsibility.
We have opportunities for young people to volunteer with us on both the Riding School and with our Livestock department. In both areas, you’ll be helping with the day to day running of the farm and stable yard, as well as learning about what it takes to look after these animals in a working environment.
Whether it’s for Duke of Edinburgh Scheme, if you’re looking towards a career in animal care or if you simply want to be involved with a local charity, we’ll be happy to hear from you!
Junior volunteering is available on Saturdays and Sundays for full days only (8:30am-4:00pm). We recognise risks of working on the farm so all volunteers must complete a health & safety induction with our staff and must have signed parental or guardian consent. For mid-week volunteering during term time, please see the work experience section.
We are always interested in people who want to contribute something back to their community, whether it is a few hours helping out in the Café or using tradesman skills to repair or construct something inside or out. Equally, those considering a career in the care industry might want to assist with less independent volunteers by acting as a mentor for them.
We have volunteering opportunities throughout the year across all areas of the farm. Our standard week days are Tuesday to Friday (as the Farm is closed to the public on Mondays) with Saturday and Sunday spaces available in the Livestock and Cafe Departments.
We’d love to have more garden volunteers. We won Merton In Bloom’s Community Garden of the Year title in 2017, were runners-up in 2018 and we’re looking to win back the title in 2019. We have some great Tuesday morning volunteers who would love some more help, but we don’t have an organised gardening group. If you’ve got just a few hours to spare and are happy to get stuck in and work independently then please apply. We have trees, flowers, fruit, and veg so you can get involved in any area that you fancy. We can provide all the tools and materials you need.
For enquiries relating specifically to helping out in the Gardens, please get in touch with our Operations Manager, Nick.
Some volunteers might require a higher level of support then our staff are able to offer, in which case we ask that a support worker attends with the volunteer to help them with activities. The supported worker may be a carer, friend or family member, and would join in with activities.
Supported volunteers typically come in for a couple of hours each day rather than a full day, so it might be simply an hour or two in the morning, working with our Livestock or Riding School helping look after the animals.
We enjoy hosting CSR days at the farm, and corporate volunteers play an essential role in maintaining and developing the site. We take groups from 5 to 20 people, and we ask for a donation of £40 per head to cover supervision, admin, tools and materials. We have a minimum charge of £200. We can also provide a buffet lunch and all-day tea and coffee at £7 per head. Some groups have extra funds and choose to take on a specific project, which we can discuss and agree in advance.
What we provide
We provide you with a base for the day – a room to change and where you can keep your stuff, and where refreshments are served. You will have at least one supervisor working with you. The day usually runs from 10:00 to 3:30, and we welcome groups Tuesday to Friday. We send out an information pack to be distributed in advance to all participants that has travel details, clothing and footwear advice etc. As we’re very busy during the Easter and Summer school holidays, we tend not to take many groups in those weeks. We have public liability insurance, activities are risk assessed, and we provide all tools, equipment and PPE. If you have a look at our Twitter feed (@deencityfarm) you can see some pictures of groups and their work.
What will you be doing?
It’s very difficult to predict what a group might do on a particular day in the future. We’re always wary of being too specific about future volunteer activities, as there are so many variables: the weather, what other groups get done before you, funding, and unexpected events – like fences getting broken or animal shelters being wrecked by itchy cows. Recently, a tree fell overnight in one of our livestock fields, demolishing the fence, so the group due in the next day were repurposed to clearing the tree so we could get the field back into action.
The activities that groups typically do include all aspects of gardening and landscaping – recently we’ve been dead hedging, moving signs, building a wooden retaining wall, laying sleeper and brick edging to garden beds. Given that we’re a busy three-acre site with large and small animals, a riding school, gardens, playground and a classroom, we’re never short of jobs that need doing. There is usually time to see the animals, and even for some cuddles with the small furries at the end of the day.
If anyone in the group has particular skills – gardening, woodwork, carpentry, advanced DIY etc., please let us know in advance. But we don’t require any particular skills – just enthusiasm, and in return we offer a fun and rewarding day out of the office.
For further details or to arrange a day, please get in touch!
Looking towards a career in animal care? We offer a limited number of work experience placements throughout the year across the various areas of the farm such as Riding School and Livestock, and sometimes the Shop & Café.
Our Work Experience placements are for those aged 14+ and generally for up to 2 weeks, 4 days a week (Tuesday – Friday) during school term time based on the Merton school term dates.
As is often the case, many schools do their compulsory work experience at roughly the same time in the academic year, and as such certain times of year can get booked out very quickly. Due to staff and other volunteer commitments we are only able to support a limited number of placements, as such you may need to apply early to secure a spot with us!
We take work experience students on a first come first serve basis, and we will not hold spaces for schools or third parties.
In order to apply for volunteering or a work experience placement, the first thing you must do is fill in a copy of our Volunteer or Work Experience application form below:
To apply for Work experience please click the link below:
Once filled in, please you send it back to the farm via email, post or drop it back in person at the information desk in the cafe. If you have any questions, please get in touch with us by either calling 020 8545 2170 or emailing email@example.com. Once the application is received we will then check availability and confirm your placement by email.
To apply for Volunteering please click the link below:
Once filled in, please you send it back to the farm via email, post or drop it back in person at the information desk in the cafe. If you have any questions, please get in touch with us by either calling 020 8545 2170 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Once the application is received we will then place your name on the waiting list, if applicable and contact you when a space comes up.