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This job description indicates the general level of responsibility and standards expected of the post. The detailed duties may vary or develop over time according to needs without changing the nature of level of responsibility of the post. This job description does not form part of your contract.

POST: Head Gardener and Therapeutic Lead

F/Time – 35hrs per week


SALARY: £25,000 - £27,000 for full time employment, subject to experience/qualifications.

6-month probationary period

HOURS: Full time Core hours will be 35 per week. Flexibility of hours sometimes required

DEPARTMENT: Root Connections (CIC) – Community Market Garden

LOCATION: Based on site at Stratton-on-the-Fosse – BA3 4QF.

REPORTS TO: Manager & Board of Directors

Root Connections in a Community Interest Company (CIC) based in the stunning Mendip countryside.

Our mission is to end rural homelessness and rough sleeping in [East Somerset / Mendip in Somerset]. We do this from our community market garden, set in 1.5 acres of working farmland located close to the Dairy House, a homeless hostel offering residents a purpose-built therapeutic setting for recovery.

Our work focuses on improving health and wellbeing, primarily for those who have experienced homelessness and rough sleeping. We do this through the creation, delivery and support of meaningful hands-on activity and the cultivation of our market garden.

Through our project, we bring the local volunteering community together to work towards a common goal: to produce exceptional seasonal, locally, and organically grown vegetables and flowers for our veg box and seasonal cut flowers schemes.

We are entering a new and exciting phase of developing our organisation, which gives a fantastic opportunity for a Head Gardener who understands organic growing methods and permaculture practices, who is interested in creating an inspiring and therapeutic space for our residents, and a welcoming, supportive environment which promotes wellbeing for the local community as a whole.

The Role:

 To manage the Community Market Garden and plan and implement growing and marketing of the

garden. To get staff, residents and volunteers involved in making this happen.

 Responsibility for generating income to maintain financial sustainability of the project.

 To oversee our veg box and cut flower subscriptions and other retail opportunities.

 To oversee the therapeutic elements of the site, land days, activities, and meaningful time to cultivate wellbeing.

 To manage other staff working on the site.

 To help recruit, manage and support our volunteers.

 To record and evaluate the therapeutic impact of the work.

 To promote the work in talks and networking locally.


 Has a desire to positively support people out of homelessness. 

 A demonstrable knowledge of the therapeutic benefits of horticulture to mental wellbeing, and an

understanding of the work of organisations such as THRIVE would be desirable. An ability to teach

Horticulture Level 1 would be amazing!

 Collaboration - Root Connections runs to support the residents of the Dairy House although a different entity, works in partnership with them and in your role would be working closely with the staff of the hostel.

 You will have at least two years’ experience of chemical free (growing to organic principles) vegetable production on a similar scale and be a well organised, dynamic, self-motivated individual looking for a position of responsibility – comfortable in sharing ideas & plans to strengthen & grow the project, and able to listen to and assimilate others’ ideas when appropriate.

 The ability to work on your own initiative and within a team is a core component of the role to support the project objectives.

Awareness and Responsibility

 Awareness and understanding of the CIC aims and objectives along with an understanding of rural

homelessness and the Dairy House.

 Maintain high standards and acting as a good role model for residents in the Diary House in recovery and a time of change.

 Respect and work to the standards required under Health & Safety, Food Handling and Hygiene. To make sure policies and procedures are followed in the garden.

 Demonstrate patience, respect, and openness in dealings with everyone.

 A demonstrable ability to multitask and work under the pressure and challenges of a demanding work environment.

Other Responsibilities:

● Take responsibility for & maintain all areas of the garden demonstrating good crop rotation –

providing year-round produce.

● Establish good rotational compost system & manage good soil health.

● Respect the farm environment & work to organic principles wherever possible, whilst minimising


● Have a good understanding of polytunnel management – managing pests/diseases, good hygiene etc.

● Prepare and plan stock for any outlets and veggie box needs.

● Meeting time slots & deadlines for all deliveries/trading income.

● Van cleanliness & maintenance, refuelling, keeping the mileage book up to date.

● Mentor in a positive way & develop day to day work plan for hostel residents, volunteers, work placements etc.

● Utilise less productive times for good land management & keeping the sites well maintained, clean & tidy & planning for busy periods.

● Maintaining Health and Safety standards and requirements.

● Provide supportive & welcoming environment for the volunteers & visitors

● Encourage & develop any vulnerable adults that may show an interest in learning gardening skills

● Providing a supportive working environment that offers a positive experience of working as part of a small team and social enterprise by planning tasks throughout the year

● Offer and deliver supervisions, training sessions and appraisals.

● Deal appropriately and efficiently with incidents or emergencies, carrying out training as required.

● Perform all duties in accordance with policies and procedures.

Please contact for an application form or for more information.

Head Gardener and Therapeutic Lead


£25,000 - £27,000 for full time employment, subject to experience/qualifications.


35 hours per week

Contract Type:

Full time. 6-month probationary period


Based on site at Stratton-on-the-Fosse – BA3 4QF.

Close Date:

Friday, 9 February 2024

Email Contact:

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