The Country Trust is the leading national educational charity dedicated to bringing food, farming and the working countryside alive for those children least able to access it. Across the Hampshire area we work with main stream and special needs schools, enabling us to ignite the curiosity and broaden the horizons of more than 3,000 children each year.
Farm Visit Support volunteers assist The Country Trust staff to take children out to farms, nature reserves, woods, rivers and the coast to learn about the working countryside, and where their food come from, as well the wider natural world. The volunteers ensure the smooth running of these visits and work alongside host farmers and staff to enhance the children’s experience of the countryside which in the long term, helps them to widen their horizons and have greater aspirations.
• Arrive at the venue before the school arrives to discuss the arrangements of the day with the host and make sure you have all you require for the visit.
• Welcome the school staff and pupils and supervise them coming off the coach.
• Be aware of issues such as students with extra support needs and who the first aiders are on site.
• Supervise/organise students to go to the toilets, change their footwear and have lunch.
• Give school staff and students a health and safety talk and brief them on other important information, e.g. no smoking policy.
• Liaise with the host staff throughout the day and support them during the farm tour and with activities.
• Assist with hand washing.
• Ensure that the host farmers’ facilities are left clean and tidy.
• The Country Trust welcomes volunteers who have specific countryside knowledge or craft skills which they can share with the children. Volunteers may lead and support activity sessions for the children where they have appropriate skills/knowledge:
• Wool produce workshop
• Field to fork story
• Bug hunting
• Woodlands habitat
• Pond dipping
• Bread making
• Dairy produce workshop
• There may be opportunities to take these sessions into schools or to agricultural shows either as an activity leader or as an assistant.
The Country Trust can offer volunteers the reward of helping students to access food, farming and the countryside.
You will meet new, like-minded people and be part of a caring and supportive team. There are opportunities to explore many beautiful parts of the countryside which are not normally open to the public, as well as learn alongside the children and teachers as you spend time working alongside many rural industry experts.
• The visits may be in the woods, forests, farm fields, beaches and more; it is important that you are fit enough to cope with rough terrain on occasions.
• As we are working in the countryside it is necessary for volunteers to have a current driving licence and their own transport.
• An interest in working with children is important. Some experience of working with children is desirable.
• Groups may include children from challenging and difficult backgrounds for whom this is a one off experience. Patience and empathy are great skills to have!
• You must be willing to share your knowledge of the countryside with the children.
• An ability to communicate with host farmers, pupils and teachers alike.
• Children really enjoy learning from a new adult from outside their day to day lives - whether it is about hedges, animals, farm machinery, hedgerows, food and cereal crops or soils. Any new skills or knowledge a volunteer can bring to the visits are always very useful and greatly appreciated.
- Age restrictions
- DBS check required
Not essential as volunteers are not alone with children. However, may be required if volunteering frequently.
- Equal Opportunities Policy
- Expenses reimbursed
Out of pocket expenses can be reimbursed to volunteers in line with the Country Trust’s expenses policy.
- Health and Safety Policy
- Ongoing support
- Training provided
The Country Trust provides a thorough induction to the organisation and role. Training and support will be given by a member of the Country Trust – Hampshire staff.
- Volunteer induction
On the Job Training.
- Volunteer Policy
- Volunteers covered by insurance
- Written role description
When can I volunteer?
Start Date: 14/02/2017
End Date: 14/02/2019
Volunteers tend to volunteer on a variety of days across the season (March to September excluding the school holidays).
Springwood Community Partnership
Hampshire County Council Countryside Service
Leigh Park Christmas Grotto
Off The Record
Hampshire Library and Information Service