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Our goal is to connect good people with good food. We advertise sustainable food jobs and training opportunities to help jobseekers and employers find each other.


Community Food Growing Network Intern (EcoTalent programme)

The Green House, 244-254 Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9DA

Posted: 11/01/2021

Deadline: 24/01/2021

Compensation: £9.50 per hour or £10.85 per if based in London (Real Living Wage)

Paid Internship Remote working

Job description

We are looking for an enthusiastic young person to work as Community Food Growing Network Intern at Sustain, helping Capital Growth and Good to Grow networks with their events and activities to support gardens and engage more people in growing their own food.

This and all of our EcoTalent internship opportunities are made possible thanks to the support of Our Bright Future. EcoTalent is one of 31 Our Bright Future projects across the UK. Each one is equipping 11-24 year olds to make a difference in their local community and for the environment. Our Bright Future is a £33 million programme funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.


Community Food Growing Network Internship

Job Profile

Sustain runs two key initiatives to support people and groups to grow food in urban areas; Capital Growth is our London network of community food gardens and Good to Grow is our national network.

This post will provide project, practical and administrative support to these networks, to help them thrive in their ambition to support food growing in London and the UK.  Specifically, this will include supporting Good to Grow – our national day(s) of action (formerly known as Big Dig) in April, by engaging gardens to take part and providing support materials and promotion.

The role will also help with general promotion and communications with members as well as administrative support for Capital Growth’s programme of training, events and activities. This will be linked to initiatives such as Community Harvest, which has helped community gardens grow to donate during the pandemic and our ambition to make the gardens and networks more inclusive. In additional there is an option for this role to support the practical running of the allotment garden (approx. 0.5 days per week).

Scope of job

The Intern will support Project Officers and Coordinators on a variety of project and administrative tasks related to the activities below, but we would welcome discussion once in post to adapt the tasks.  The options include:

  • Assisting with the launch and running of the Good to Grow national day(s) of action, which will involve:
    • recruiting gardens to take part in the event
    • preparing online resources and other materials to help gardens
    • managing the registration of gardens taking part.
    • Creating news items, newsletters, social media posts and assets
    • Assisting with preparing photo-led stories profiling community gardens across the networks and in the lead-up to Good to Grow in April.
  • Assisting with planning, bookings and follow up webinars for our London and national networks.
  • Writing short news items developments for the Sustain website, mailchimp newsletters and regular social media posts to promote and keep our networks informed.
  • Assisting with development and dissemination of materials and resources around inclusive practices in food growing as part of our work to increase diversity in community gardens.
  • (Optional) Practical food growing at our London flagship gardens (Royal Parks) – potentially 0.5 days a week equivalent.
  • Managing our database of gardens, including new garden registrations and welcome packs and also helping with setting up and running of our food growing training programme, including producing a short report on attendance and feedback on the sessions.
  • Supporting the team to collect and present monitoring and evaluation data to show the impact of our work and areas of improvement and focus.

Time with Feedback

In addition to working with your host organisation, you will spend a proportion of your time receiving additional training and development with Feedback and external facilitators. This time will be spent learning more about the environmental and ecological crisis and how it relates to the food system; it will also include elements of activism training and bespoke support based on your professional development.

Who we are looking for:

The person should

  • Have an interest in contributing to helping more people grow food in their neighbourhoods, to build healthy communities and help create a more sustainable food system
  • A desire to learn about community food growing urban agriculture and access to land in London and across the UK
  • Have an interest in the environment and local, sustainable & just food systems
  • Physically fit to work outside in a community garden (optional)

This is an opportunity for people to learn so we would also like to appoint an intern who has a desire to learn and develop skills and knowledge in at least some of the areas below:

  • Organising events including online events, and project management and administration skills
  • Oral and written communications skills
  • Media work including using social media and Mailchimp
  • Practical food growing skills and running workshops to support growers


For your application to be considered, you need to fulfil the following eligibility criteria:

  1. You must be aged 18-24 years old
  2. You must be legally entitled to work in the UK
  3. You must not currently be enrolled on a higher education degree (undergraduate or postgraduate).

PLEASE NOTE: Eco Talent placements are designed to assist those who have experienced barriers to entry in to the environmental and community food sectors. As such, we will prioritise candidates who do not have undergraduate or postgraduate qualifications. We still encourage you to apply If you have an undergraduate or postgraduate degree.

COVID-19 TRAVEL TO WORK: In line with the latest government guidance on travel to work, extra precautions must be taken when travelling to this placement via public transport. If you’d like to avoid public transport, we do have a bursary scheme to support the purchase of a bicycle or other low carbon methods of travel to work.


These placements are open to everyone, regardless of experience or background. We acknowledge that the environmental sector is less open to young people from under-represented backgrounds and we’re committed to doing what we can to correct this. We especially want to hear from you if you feel that opportunities like this are less available to you, or if you feel overlooked by mainstream institutions.

 No previous experience in the environmental sector is necessary. We encourage applications from:

  • People who are passionate about affecting positive change and want to take action to tackle climate change but have not studied a relevant subject at college or university.
  • People who have studied a relevant subject at university but have not been able to secure paid employment in that sector within a year of graduating.
  • People who are interested in training in practical food delivery (cooking, growing or distribution) with a sustainable focus but have little or no previous professional experience.
  • People who are interested in environmental campaigning but do not feel confident in how to take steps towards this

Sustain – About us

Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, enrich society and culture and promote equity. We run a variety of related project and campaigns across the UK and represent around 100 organisations working internationally, nationally, regionally and locally.

 As mentioned, Sustain runs two key initiatives to support people and groups to grow food

  • Capital Growth has supported over 3000 community gardens in the last 12 years in London, t helping people access land, start projects and providing training, networking, volunteer days as well as targeted initiatives such as wildlife friendly growing, involving older people or growing food to sell. We also run two allotment gardens in the Royal Parks.
  • Good to Grow is our national network to get more people involved in their local community garden. It works with other local and regional network organisations to engage gardens and growers, raising the p profile of community gardening through an online map and events, so there are more pathways for people to access a garden and have an opportunity to grow food.

Position in organisation

Sustain is an unusual organisation – small, creative, friendly, supportive, responsive and highly effective. We are frequently complimented for “punching well above our weight”. We value our staff and pride ourselves on creating an organisational culture that focuses on good relationships and working together to achieve ambitious change.

We are committed to taking action to offer opportunities to people from diverse backgrounds, including those underrepresented in the food and farming sector. We hope that the EcoTalent programme can help us to achieve this aim. This position will be directly managed by Ren Piercey, Sustain’s Local Action Officer, but also work closely with our Fi McAllister, Capital Growth’s Coordinator with further support from Sarah Williams, Sustain’s Programmes Director.  As well as working with the team on allocated tasks, the intern will be able to attend other internal and external meetings, speak with colleagues running different projects and campaigns, the senior management team, and where possible alliance members.

Application information

Please fill in the application form to apply. You may answer the following questions either in writing or by uploading a video/audio file to the form, answering the following questions:

  1. Tell us about yourself
  2. Why do you care about people’s ability to people to grow healthy, culturally appropriate and sustainable food?
  3. Why do you want to work at Sustain and what skills, experience and knowledge would you like to gain through the internship?
  4. Please tell us about any connection to the local area (London)
  5. Can you tell us how the environmental, community food sector or other professional opportunities feel inaccessible to you, or any barriers you may have experienced in finding work in these sectors?

You do not need to send a CV.

Deadline for applications: Sunday, 24th January at 11:59pm

Date of interviews: w/c 1st February

Start date: w/c 15th February

If you have any questions relating to the role itself and your time with Sustain, please contact Sarah Williams

If you have any questions about Feedback’s EcoTalent programme or your time with Feedback, please contact James Turner,

Please mention Roots to Work when applying for these jobs

About Sustain

Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, enrich society and culture and promote equity. We represent around 100 national public interest organisations working at international, national, regional and local level.