Are you:

  • An experienced gardener, good at growing vegetables, familiar with everything from slug attacks, droughts and black fly on the broad beans?
  • Patient, cheerful, willing to pass your skills and experience on to keen amateurs who are eager to learn?
  • Interested in working with, learning about and spending time with people from all over the world and from many different cultures
  • Wondering about taking up some (seasonal) voluntary activity?

If yes, you might be just what YUMI Intercultural York needs.

What is YUMI Intercultural York?

YUMI is an intercultural network that connects people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups, who have come to York from all over the world, with the local community.

Growing and eating food is at the heart of what we do and we provide training and support for people from all ages and backgrounds to make friends and get involved in projects and events at our International Community Garden.

Our activity can provide opportunities for participants to:

  • Share skills and cultural traditions as they grow produce from their native countries.
  • Come together to share traditional dishes with each other and the wider public at community events.
  • Develop English language skills while making new friends at our Conversation Café or International Craft Group.

Why do we need some new support now?

As a recognised City of Sanctuary, York welcomes refugees and asylum seekers. Our Community Garden is a place that can potentially provide much needed support for people to set down roots as they join us in a beautiful, tranquil setting to grow produce, including plants from their native country, integrating with the local community and fostering friendships. Due to time constraints and other commitments Helen, our garden facilitator, needs help with the week to week planning and maintenance of the garden.

What would it involve?

  • Supporting the garden facilitator to look after the Community Garden and attend regular garden days from March to October. These are flexible but likely to be once a week during the growing season. These usually take place 11-3pm every fortnight on a Saturday) to support members to maintain and cultivate crops.
  • Being a friendly face at the garden to welcome new members to YUMI some of whom may be isolated, have complex personal circumstances or mental health issues.

Who would you be working with?

YUMI works with people of all ages and cultures. Some are keen gardeners, some have little to no experience… but all are keen to learn. At the moment we have a core team of around 8 volunteers who support Helen to maintain the garden, also helping out at activities and events.

What sort of support would you get?

You will work closely with Helen so you can get to know the garden and how it works. Helen has been involved with YUMI for around seven years, transforming it from a derelict plot to a bountiful community garden. She is a professional garden designer and writer, and has worked on exhibits at a number of RHS shows, including Chelsea and Tatton Park. Sara, the project co-ordinator, will also be on hand to provide practical support and advice and we have a committed and active Committee who meet quarterly but are a visible presence at the garden.

As a team we will be working with the Refugee Council to ensure we are fully trained up to work with refugees and confident in providing the right kind of support.

What would success look like, for YUMI and our gardeners?

By enlisting the help of a volunteer garden assistant we hope to:

  • Increase the number of people across the city that we are supporting by increasing the number of days of regular garden days at our International Community Garden to once a fortnight (March to July).
  • Strengthen the position of our garden as a safe and welcoming hub where people from a wide range of backgrounds can come to meet people, develop new skills and feel an increased sense of belonging in a beautiful, friendly outdoor setting
  • Increase the number of crops we are growing to help us develop the self-sustaining capacity of YUM by selling chutneys, herb mixes etc.

How would you get started?

Email Sara Mair on Sara@yumiyork.org or call 07944 911093 to request a mini application form or to find out more about this great opportunity with YUMI Intercultural York. Closing date for applications is July 28th 2017.

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