Our Outdoor Families programme is a year-round programme, connecting families from across London with nature, gradually increasing their range of experiences – from weekend walks exploring local green spaces, through to a weekend camp in the countryside.
Every summer we take families living in London for their first ever camping experience to Green Farm, Kent. For some children, it's their first holiday outside the capital.
This programme has been running for the last 5 years. Over that time, 107 families have joined Family Wild Walks, 49 families have joined Outdoor Family Camping and 247 children have benefited in direct activities, half under 7 years old.
We are now looking for volunteers to support our family camping trips this year. We have planned a covid-secure Volunteer Weekend camping trip on 24-25 April for training and preparation. We will then host 2 or 3 camping trips throughout the summer (depending on funding, and all being well with the 'roadmap out of lockdown'). All camping trips will be at Green Farm Kent (near Ashford), in partnership with Pearce Coggan Foundation. Volunteers will be provided with food and tented accommodation, and travel expenses if needed.
The first Outdoor Family camping trip is scheduled for 31 May – 4 June, during the May half-term school holidays. We will also require support setting up camp and packing down the camp on the weekends before and after the camping trip (29/30 May & 5/6 June).
Ideally, you will be available to join the Volunteer Weekend in April and some or all of the days between 29 May and 6 June. If you are not available for these dates, but would like to volunteer, do get in touch as there will be more opportunities in the future!
We are looking for volunteers who have a passion-for or interest-in some or all of the following:
- Nature and nature connection
- Outdoor play
- Child development
- Camping and outdoor adventures (big or small!)
- Community building and community well-being.
We encourage parents and carers who enjoy camping (and feel quite confident camping with their family) to sign up as volunteers and bring your children along too!
Our volunteer roles and responsibilities include:
- Organising, maintaining, repairing and proofing outdoor gear
- Preparing the campsite for families
- Driving the minibus from London or to visit our local dairy farm.
- Leading activities such as story-telling, foraging, adventures and outdoor play, arts and crafts and visiting farm animals.
- Supporting families to feel welcome and safe and gain confidence.
- Facilitating outdoor play and learning.
- Putting up tents and distributing equipment.
- Keeping the compost toilets clean.
- Managing the waste produced.
- Preparing and cooking food.
- Organising and distributing food stocks.
- Packing down tents, airing and cleaning them, and stock taking.
We appreciate not everyone has the time to commit to join as a volunteer for a full family camping trip, which is typically a full week including set up and pack down. As such, opportunities to volunteer can range from a one-day trip to the farm or up to five days of camping. Not all volunteering opportunities will involve working directly with families, some are more suited to folks that love a bit of graft in the outdoors. We will chat with you about the roles that will suit you most, and match what you love about camping and the outdoors.
Volunteering gives you the chance to learn more about outdoor play and nature connection, improve your camping skills, try out different types of camping gear, meet new people from different backgrounds and places, spend time in nature and connect with the land at Green Farm Kent. Also, volunteers receive a 15% discount with Outdoor People shop, top tips and latest news about outdoor gear!
We are also looking for one or two volunteers that are interested in working directly with Beth, our Community Coordinator, to support the organising of our family camping trips. If you are interested in some remote work throughout March/April/May/June and enjoy administrative tasks and event organising, this might be a role for you! Tasks will include liaising with families and volunteers who will be participating in the camping trips, organising transport, food and camping gear and organising the volunteer rota and co-writing the family camping pack.
“We love family camping because it’s a big group of us from all different backgrounds which makes us feel really comfortable as a family. If we could replicate that in every visit to the countryside it would be great!”
Our community is representative of and celebrates Hackney's diverse communities. We welcome people from all backgrounds, abilities and lived experiences. We are LGBTQ+ friendly. It is our priority to ensure that we offer inclusive volunteering opportunities. We will work with you to ensure you are supported to participate, learn and thrive.
If you would like to apply to volunteer with us, please fill in this form. Or to find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org.