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Volunteering at OrganicLea

OrganicLea is based at Hawkwood nursery in Chingford, on the edge of Epping Forest, and is a community-based food producer.

The nursery has proved to be a beneficial place to spend some time for customers of Outlook Care. OrganicLea uses teams of volunteer helpers to perform labour-intensive tasks such as soil cultivation, sowing, weeding, and harvesting.

The atmosphere is calm, predictable and friendly, and could be beneficial for customers supported with an autistic condition, learning disability, or someone living with dementia.

Volunteering at OrganicLea offers the chance to gain skills, make new friends, and thrive in a nurturing environment. The official term for this now is ‘horticultural therapy’.

William, who lives in supported living accommodation with Outlook Care in Leyton, has been volunteering at OrganicLea for a number of years.  Staff there say his confidence has grown during this time. He has become a valued member of the team. William’s trips to OrganicLea are the highlight of his week.

Last month (19-25 June) celebrated Learning Disability week where the focus for this year was employment.  At a time where people around the country have been raising awareness of the benefits of employing people with a learning disability to help tackle the appallingly low levels of employment there currently are, it is great to know that there are places like Organiclea that can offer such amazing opportunities.