Want to make a difference and learn more about the food and farming movement at the same time? If the answer is ‘yes’ then read on.
The Community Farm is recruiting three new people to join its management committee (MC).
You will be joining a strong team of energetic and enthusiastic committee members plus our Managing Director. The committee is responsible for governance, rather than operations, but we are a small and young organization so committee members are closely involved. The additional strategic skills we need are;
- A committee member lead for the food aspects of our business
- A committee member lead for the organic horticulture growing operation
- A committee member with a love for business and finance
- Someone who could in the fullness of time could be our next committee chair.
Who are we and why do we need new MC members?
The Farm is located in Chew Magna, equidistant from Bristol and Bath. It’s in its twelfth year. Founded by volunteers concerned about climate change, the natural world, and social justice; we wanted to create an organic farm that is open for people to come for work, recreation or celebration, learning about local food, and enabling reconnection with food and land.
We grow market garden scale organic vegetables on a beautiful site overlooking Chew Valley Lake. We run a thriving veg box scheme and wholesale hub from our field warehouse. We have an active group of wildlife volunteers working to enhance habitats and biodiversity in our fields, margins and hedgerows.
Most importantly, through our busy Communities Programme we welcome more than 1,000 people each year, of all ages and from all walks of life, to spend time on The Farm, joining us for our flagship Saturday Community Farmer days, our year-round weekday volunteering or our specialist courses, workshops and events in all things land-based from nature connection to basket weaving.
We employ over 25 staff (17 whole-time equivalents) and have a turnover of around £1m.
During lockdown we focused our efforts on responding to increased need for home delivered veg boxes. Since things have opened up again we have resumed and expanded our Communities Programme, and are embarking on fundraising to enable us to meet our ambitions.
What does the role of MC member involve?
The full management committee meets every month at The Farm or via online meeting. There are smaller groups (“subgroups”), each involving key staff plus one or more MC members, and this is where the real work tends to happen. The groups relate to each of our strategic ‘strands’ (food, farming, wildlife, communities), as well as Communications, Business and Finance, People/Policies/Governance, and Landlord/Tenant. The groups meet quarterly or monthly.
Reflecting its roots as a project created by ecological activists, the working culture at the Farm aspires to be collaborative, less hierarchical than some traditional businesses, and to use conflict constructively. Our committee members are a key part of The Farm, and need to be happy working alongside our staff and other volunteers collaboratively.
On average the role adds up to about one day per month of work. Some committee members choose to do more, and some are regularly involved as field, wildlife or warehouse volunteers also. Further details about the role, which is unpaid, are in the Role Description (see PDF below).
What are the benefits of becoming a MC member?
Our existing committee members tell us that they love being part of a project with a deep sense of purpose and values. They describe it as an extraordinary project created by a whole lot of ordinary people. They appreciate learning about food, farming and wildlife. They feel positive about helping demonstrate that a better approach to the production, sale and enjoyment of food is indeed possible. They love the teamwork, the opportunities to spend time on the field as well as ‘in the committee room’, the sense of achievement and the occasional seasonal celebration.
How do I find out more?
To find out more please email us (details below) and either come along to our ‘Drop In Session’ on the morning of Saturday 16th July, or if this is not possible then we can arrange a chat by phone or zoom, with an opportunity for you to visit The Farm at a different time. After that, we encourage any interested candidates to ‘sit in’ on one or more committee meetings during July to October so as to get a feel for the role. You can take your time to decide if the role is right for you, we ask that you please get in touch by Wednesday 31st August 2022.
The Community Farm is a fantastic organisation, and I’m so pleased to be able to play a very small part in helping the amazing work. This has been my first governance committee role and the lovely (and experienced) existing members were incredibly supportive and patient whilst I was learning the ropes. The Farm is an inspiring, peaceful place run by genuinely passionate, committed people. I am really enjoying being part of something bigger and very different from the legal work that I deal with day-to-day. Being involved with The Farm is a really excellent experience.
Maddie Dunn, MC Member
From all of us at The Community Farm - we look forward to meeting you soon!
Address: The Community Farm, Denny Lane, Chew Magna, Bristol, BS40 8SZ
Job description: Management Committee Members Role Description
Drop in session for prospective new committee members;
Saturday 16th July 2022 between 10am to 1pm (we will fix the exact time to suit those who are coming)