Contract Opportunity – Freelance Project Officer

Contract Length: 1st March 2022 – 28 February 2023

Location: Braehead Community Garden (a laptop will be provided to faciliate home working where necessary)

Contract Value:  667 hours @ £15 per hour = £10,125

For more information, or to apply, please send a CV and covering letter outlining why you would be perfect for the position, to

Braehead Community Garden is an 11,000 square metre facility in Stirling with raised beds, polytunnels, a clubhouse, picnic area, apiary, orchard, toolshed, workshop and more.  The garden is a lottery funded project run by Braehead, Broomridge and District Community Development Trust (www.braehead.org). The garden is the Trust’s key project and exists to help create a vibrant, connected community which flourishes as a key part of 21st Century Stirling with healthy, happy residents.

BBDCDT are looking to employ on a freelance basis an individual to undertake the following tasks:

  1. Be the first point of contact within the community for those wishing to access the garden
  2. Undertake outreach work within the community to promote the garden and encourage people into it
  3. Form relationships with other community and third sector partners to maximise use and occupancy of the garden and administer bookings
  4. Develop volunteer opportunities and support and encourage volunteers in a variety of garden activities and projects, anchored in food growing, food distribution, and mental health (predominantly May-September)
  5. Assist and support community and fund-raising events within the garden, including the annual plant sale, flower show and pumpkin festival
  6. Assist in the development of new projects and activities
  7. Assist in developing a business plan for a social enterprise based on polytunnel food growing (see note below)
  8. Identify future funding sources to continue and expand the role beyond the one year contract

It is expected that you will work 15 hours each week during the gardening season (Mar-Oct) and 10 hours per week (non-gardening season Nov-Feb).  In the gardening season we expect Sat 1000-1400rs to be included, but other hours are as required.

You will ultimately report to the Board of Trustees, with day to day management of the contract the responsibility of the Trust Secretary.

Person Specification

Essential Criteria

  • Good verbal and written communication skills
  • Experience of working with volunteers
  • Excellent interpersonal and organisational skills
  • Confident social media and IT user
  • Able to work to a high degree of independence (some lone working will be required)
  • Commitment to the success and sustainability of the project
  • Knowledge and understanding of health and safety issues

Desirable skills

  • Food hygiene certificate
  • First Aid certificate
  • Experience and/or keen interest in gardening and/or cooking
  • Experience and/or keen interest in environmental sustainability and food security
  • Knowledge and experience of local food issues
  • UK Driving Licence

The job may involve working with children and vulnerable groups therefore the successful candidate would be expected to secure a Disclosure check.

Social Enterprise Note

During the pandemic two of our four polytunnels, and 25 of our external raised bed were dedicated to a ‘market garden’ project.  This involved a small team of volunteers propagating, cultivating and harvesting a variety of fruit and vegetables.   The produce was sold to local people and distributed to local groups to help with food security.  The success of this project has exceeded all expectation and the Trust would like to formalise the project and develop a social enterprise where we propagate plants for sale in the spring, cultivate crops for harvest and sale in the summer/early Autumn, and then create food products (preserves, jams, chutneys, chilli infused oils, dried fruits, honey from our apiary, eggs from our flock of hens, etc) in late Autumn/winter.

Celebrate Halloween weekend with a Chilli encounter at Braehead Community Garden on Saturday

If you’re looking for a chiling encounter this Halloween weekend, Braehead Community Garden are serving up all the right ingredients. On Saturday, the community project is hosting a Chilli Pepper sale after growing some of the hottest varieties on the planet this year.

One of the varieties on sale is a Chilli which looks like a miniature pumpkin. Another is called ‘Black Pearl’ and is similar in heat to the chilli found in Tabasco sauce.

Other varieties available include the scary sounding ‘Trinidad Scorpions’, ‘Medusa’, ‘Demon Red’ and ‘Satan’s Kiss’.  Others will will try to fool you with sweetshop sounding names including ‘Peruvian Lemon Drops’; but buyer beware – this South American creation is still three times hotter than a Jalapeno.

If you want to hang out with the ultimate strong man of the culinary world, then look out for the ‘Carolina Reaper’, officially the hottest food on the planet.  On the Scoville Scale, which is used to measure the heat of a chilli, the grim Reaper comes in at 2.2million units. That’s nearly 1000 times hotter than a jalapeno!

It’s not all about the hot celebrities of the chilli world;  there are over a dozen varieties for sale including mild chillies you can eat in a salad and the Gogosari, a savoury chilli from Transylvania.  You can dilute the chillies to your taste, by making  hot sauces, infused oils, jams and chutneys.

The chillies were grown by volunteer gardeners at the popular community project, all under the guidance of Braehead man Alasdair Forsyth.  Alasdair has been growing chillies for over thirty years and the polytunnels at Braehead have allowed him space to grow a larger crop.  Alasdair will be on hand to offer advice.

The sale runs from 11am-1pm on Saturday 30 October at Braehead Community Garden, Broom Road, Stirling, FK7 7GU.

 

Braehead Community Garden update plans for a growing enterprise and unveil two new projects 

Volunteers at Braehead have been busy over the winter months planning and fundraising for two new infrastructure projects and a new social enterprise at the 11,000sqm Community Garden.  Braehead and Broomridge Community Development Trust, who operate the garden, have also been developing a model for a social enterprise to provide a sustainable source of produce for the local community.

Solar Panel Array

A 30kw solar panel array has been installed on site, which will completely eliminate the garden electricity bills and generate an income for the project over the next twenty years as it sells surplus energy back into the national grid.  Funding for the project came from via the Community And Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) and the Stirling and Clackmannanshire Environment Trust.

Fourth Polytunnel

A new Polytunnel has been erected on the site, significantly increasing the amount of covered growing space in the garden.  This will allow more community gardeners to grow their own tomatoes and peppers and chillies.   Funding for this project came from the Community Climate Action Fund.

Market Garden Social Enterprise

A great display of some of the fresh, local produce grown at Braehead Community Garden
A great display of some of the fresh, local produce grown at Braehead Community Garden

The fourth polytunnel will allow the project to dedicate two of the existing polytunnels to a ‘market garden project’, with volunteers growing fruit and veg to donate to projects and people who need help and also to generate an income by selling low-cost, nutritious local produce within the community.

Trust Chairperson Matthew Power says

Lockdown meant we were looking at losing an entire growing season in 2020, but instead we supported a small team of volunteers and grew fruit and vegetables to distribute into the community to those in need.  We were so successful that we realised we could do more and look to develop this in the future, which gave us the idea of raising money for a new polytunnel’

Trust Treasurer Aileen Hall says,

solar panel project bears fruit for community garden

‘The solar panels will completely eliminate our energy bills and give us a sustainable source of income for many years, which means we can look well into the future and subsidise access into the garden.  A regular source of income for a community project is crucial and I’m delighted we can count on this in the years to come along with reducing our carbon footprint on the world’. 

Braehead Community Garden opened in 2015 after the community raised £250,000 from the National Lottery to build it.  The garden offers local residents the opportunity to grow their own produce in a ‘micro-allotment’ raised bed.  In addition, there is an apiary with honeybees, a flock of egg-laying hens, a large orchard, workshop and picnic area complete with a pizza oven constructed from the clay found on site.  For more information on the community garden, log on to www.braehead.org

Braehead Community Garden from the air in 2020