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Garden Club Leader

Abbey Gardens
20 Bakers Row E15 3NF

Posted: 10/06/2019

Deadline: 25/07/2019

Compensation: £15/hour

Paid Part-time

Job description

Abbey Gardens is seeking to recruit a Garden Club Leader whose role will be to oversee the maintenance and development of the garden, largely through the delivery of 3 public sessions each week working with volunteer gardeners.

Applicants must be able to clearly demonstrate both horticultural and community engagement skills. The Garden Club Leader will be self-employed and contracted initially for one growing season, which may be extended, subject to funding.

The work will be carried out at Abbey Gardens, which is located on Bakers Row, in Stratford, E15 3NF. The Garden Club Leader will report to the Trustees of Abbey Gardens, liaise closely with the project coordinator (Vicki Lewis) and will be supported by volunteers. 


Abbey Gardens Garden Club Leader’s main areas of responsibility include:

  • Planning, resourcing and leading the weekly garden club sessions.
  • Planning and implementing the garden planting scheme for each year based on past records and the design of the established harvest garden.
  • Providing both individual and group hands-on tuition and encouragement to members of the public who want to use the garden.
  • Working with a diverse cross section of people.
  • Allocating gardening tasks in a way which allows for both novice and experienced gardeners to participate and learn. 
  • Ensuring the use of safe working practices at the site, and the safety of the visiting public.
  • Signing in new members and making them aware of how the site is run and kept safe.
  • Conducting regular routine maintenance of the garden (e.g. watering, hoeing, dead-heading) with the aim of sustaining the established ‘thriving’ RHS standard.
  • Ensure that site building/s and tools are well-maintained and secured as necessary.
  • Recording garden activity (such as user numbers) accurately and distributing / collating supplied project evaluation materials as required.
  • Work closely with the director of Friends of Abbey Gardens.
  • Identifying opportunities for cost efficiencies and greater impact of the garden’s key objectives
  • Assisting in the development and co-ordination of garden activities, events, education opportunities, outreach and community engagement – with help from volunteers and the garden’s events group.
  • Undertaking any other related responsibilities commensurate with the evolving objectives of the post and the evolution of the garden, as may reasonably be requested by the Director.


We are seeking an enthusiastic and self-motivated person with a passion for getting people (of all ages and abilities) gardening and enjoying plants. They must also have an interest in and empathy with the innovative vision for the garden.

They must be available throughout the growing season at the agreed Club opening times (cover is available for up to 2 weeks absence by prior arrangement).

Garden Club Sessions May to end of October:

Saturdays 1.00pm – 6.00pm


  • Horticultural knowledge relevant to a ‘harvest garden’.
  • Proven experience with the practical maintenance of a medium – large-scale garden, preferably one that is publicly-accessible.
  • Experience of gardening with community groups.
  • Ability to best allocate available resources and funding appropriately throughout the season. 

  • Ability to work to agreed policies and procedures.
  • Self motivating and flexible approach.
  • Willingness to work evenings and weekends.


  • Knowledge of Newham and Stratford area.
  • Experience in programme promotion and publicity.
  • Knowledge of other comparable community and public gardens.
  • Experience of arts events and programming within gardens.
  • First Aid, Manual handling and health and safety at work certificates


Hours: This is a Freelance temporary contract to work an average 6 hours per week with 5 hours contact time (at the listed Garden Club times) with flexible variation in terms of time needed for preparation. The post is paid at £15 per hour (inclusive of Value Added Tax if applicable) and any expenses originating in the normal duties of the post.

Contract: This is an initial contract, to start in July 2019 – end of October 2019 with possible extension, subject to funding. The successful candidate will need to supply two references.

Application information

Email your CV (Including two referees) plus a one A4 page letter stating your reasons for applying to
 Please do not send any other materials with your application although you are welcome to include URLs in your letter / CV.

If you do not meet all the skills and experience listed in the personal specification, but still feel that you are the right person for this role, you are still encouraged to apply.

* NB 
The Post will involve mainly weekend and evening work.
The successful candidate will be required to hold their own public liability insurance and to have a Disclosure and Barring Service check for the post.

Please mention Roots to Work when applying for these jobs

About Abbey Gardens

Friends of Abbey Gardens is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation which maintains Abbey Gardens as an innovative public community garden. Unlike the traditional allotment system, no one has their own patch and everyone gardens together at the regular gardening sessions led by the Garden Club Leader. FOAG teaches food growing and gardening skills, provides locally grown produce shared communally and promotes health and wellbeing.