Volunteer opportunity description

About SHP and Opportunities/Gardening Project

We are Single Homeless Project (SHP), a London-wide charity working to prevent homelessness and help vulnerable and socially excluded people to transform their lives.

The Gardening project comes under our Opportunities programme banner. The Opportunities programme provides safe, flexible and inclusive ways for people to nurture their personal wellbeing and development, breaking down stigma and isolation and supporting recovery through involvement in learning. Spending quality time in the garden can have enormous benefits for mental wellbeing, personal development and recovery, and we are excited to launch many of these as ‘micro-farm’ food growing spaces.

As well as offering the chance to learn practical skills, taking part in group gardening sessions helps people gain confidence, reduce their isolation, develop their social and communication skills and prepare for living independently.


Times and Locations

We have various garden locations across our hostels in London, and times can be arranged to suit you and the premises in question.


Core Activities

Our gardens need regular maintenance and care to facilitate ongoing benefits to SHP clients. Your role is to use your skills as a gardener to help keep the gardens pleasant, tidy and accessible spaces for our clients to spent time.

This will involve a variety of activities, such as weeding, watering, pruning, and other garden activities as agreed with the Gardening Project Coordinator and hostel staff. There may also be opportunities for occasional larger scale works as part of our ‘micro-farm’ programme.

This role is independent of organised garden sessions with clients, although you are likely to meet clients when you are on site. However, you are not responsible for their engagement with the garden. 


What You Will Gain

  • The reward of contributing to transforming outdoor spaces into beautiful and productive gardens for all clients, staff and volunteers to enjoy
  • The option of having your own personal plot for growing (dependent on availability)
  • The opportunity to share existing skills, and develop new skills in a friendly and supportive environment
  • Regular, ongoing support from the Gardening Project coordinator to discuss your volunteering experience, and to identify what other opportunities and training may be available to you, together with an induction appropriate to your role
  • The opportunity to participate in structured gardening sessions with staff and clients.
  • A platform for building confidence, gaining skills and experience
  • A reference from a reputable organisation



Your primary support will be the on site staff, with whom you will agree your times of attendance, and confirm when you are there/leaving.

You will be able to check in with the Gardening Project Co-ordinator on a weekly basis (or as often as appropriate) over the phone and/or via email.



You will receive an SHP volunteer induction appropriate to your role, which will include elements of the following areas:

  • The volunteer role, organisation & local services
  • Safeguarding and reporting
  • Health & Safety
  • Confidentiality
  • Boundaries

Further training may be available on discussion with the Gardening Project Coordinator, including training in horticulture and working with vulnerable adults. 


Additional Information

  • You are entitled to travel expenses, and up to £4.50 for lunch expenses, where a whole day is worked.
  • We expect volunteers to comply with SHP policies, including health and safety, data protection and the code of conduct at all times.
  • We welcome application from people from all backgrounds and from people with disabilities
  • You will need to complete an enhanced DBS check and provide 2 character referees as a part of your application. Previous offending history is not necessarily a barrier to volunteering, but will need to be disclosed. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this.



SHP would like the volunteer to commit to a minimum period of 6 months volunteering. Please contact us if you would like to discuss the period of your volunteering commitment.


Useful Skills and Experience

  • Good communication skills and an ability to engage with our clients, understanding the needs and behaviours of individuals who have experienced homelessness and with associated support needs
  • Knowledge of growing edibles, or willingness to learn
  • Knowledge of general garden maintenance
  • Experience working with vulnerable people and good interpersonal skills
  • Ability to attend regularly; good time keeping, attendance and listening skills
  • Ability to follow instructions and also take the initiative when required; flexibility in terms of the tasks you are asked to undertake
  • Enthusiasm, patience and respect for others
  • An understanding of the importance of confidentiality and maintaining boundaries
  • Being a positive, productive presence, with a passion for supporting people to gain skills for independent living

Our volunteer needs

We need volunteers who are free at these times


Volunteer opportunity location(s)

About the organisation

SHP (Single Homeless Project)

Dani Singer/Jenny Wales
Gardening project Coordinators
Organisation’s website:
Volunteer opportunity website:
Learn more about this organisation:
Organisation’s profile
View all volunteer opportunities listed by this organisation