Volunteering & Work Experience
The heart and soul of the farm...
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 gaining experience looking after animals, cooking, gardening, or just want to get involved in any way you can, there is a role at the farm for you! We also provide up to 2 week work experience placements during term time, in conjunction with your School, College or University.
Current Volunteer Opportunities
Information Kiosk Volunteers, to find out more please download the role description and you can apply here.
Events Volunteer, to find out more please download role description and apply here.
Riding School and Farm Junior Volunteer placements - click here.
Adult Riding School, midweek application form - click here.
Please note that we are not able to offer any other volunteer or work experience at this time.
Due to the current high demand for junior volunteer placements we are only able to contact successful applicants. If you do not hear then do please feel free to apply for the next round in 3 months time.
Weekend Junior Volunteering
On the Farm Yard and in the Riding School.
Saturdays and Sundays, 08:30 to 16:30.
Ages 12 to 17.
We have opportunities for young people aged between 12 and 17 to volunteer with us on either the Riding School or the Farm*. You’ll be helping with the day to day running of the farm or riding school, as well as learning about what it takes to look after animals in a working environment.
Whether it’s for the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme, if you’re thinking about a career in animal care, if you want to make new friends, or if you simply want to be involved with a local charity, we’ll be happy to hear from you.
To keep everyone safe all volunteers will complete a health and safety induction with our staff and all Junior Volunteers must have signed parental or guardian consent.
Click here to find out more.
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 2021. We have some great Monday volunteers who would love some more help, but we don’t have an organised gardening group. Even if you’ve only got 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 General Manager, Emma.
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!
ON THE FARM OR IN THE RIDING SCHOOL.
We offer short- and long-term work experience placements in our Livestock department and in our Riding School. Students either attend Tuesday to Friday for one or two weeks or can get long-term work experience by attending one or two days a week over several months. Longer term placements are usually organised as part of animal care or animal management courses. Work experience is usually done as part of a course or qualification and is different to volunteering. Work experience opportunities in the café and shop may include weekends.
All of our activities are assessed for risk and at the beginning of the placement you will receive a comprehensive Health and Safety induction. You will be shown how to carry out your tasks by members of our staff. Certain times of the year can get booked out very quickly, so apply as early as possible. We take work experience students on a first come first serve basis, and we cannot hold spaces for organisations.