Finding a workforce

Recruiting volunteers

Download leaflets on volunteers from the Resources page

The biggest problem we hear about at Feed Leeds is difficulties in recruiting volunteers – and the nature of the challenge varies from project to project.

Some need a big gang to do a one-off task like clearing an area for planting, which can often be supplied by a corporate work force or one from one of the existing volunteer organisations below. Others need a smaller regular workforce, or even just a couple of people who can be counted on to turn up perhaps one afternoon a week, or whatever’s needed – and these can be harder to recruit. Then there are those wanting people with leadership or expert horticultural skills, or perhaps DBS clearance (for working with children or vulnerable adults) and so on, which present their own challenges.

The first step might be to check our Sites + Map page. There you’ll also find a list of projects who might have people willing to help, and there are more on the maps – check out the Community Growing Projects layer especially. Have a look at the Network page for a list of Feed Leeds Connections who might be able to help, and also see the Parks Forum members page.

Or you can just add a post on our dedicated ‘muddy boot’ volunteering Facebook page Willing Wellies   

You can also do the usual things; leafleting local houses, placing posters in local schools, places of worship, shops, allotment notice boards and community centres or setting up your own website. You could try to build up a mailing list using something like MailChimp, or you might set up a Facebook group or similar. And please do come to our meetings, and become a Feed Leeds Connection – we’re here to help!

Here are some best practice ideas on working with volunteers

TVC advice

Voluntary Action Leeds Toolkit and Resources

Existing volunteer-based organisations

There are also several specialist volunteering organisations in Leeds who might be able to provide you with boots on the ground. 

• Voluntary Action Leeds (VAL) even have an on-line system for matching projects with volunteers, but gardening is not one of the options (only ‘environment and conservation’) VAL (The VAL contact, who can advice on suitable local projects, is Natasha Mort)

• Doing Good In Leeds do-it 

• TCV (The Conservation Volunteers), is essentially concerned with environmental maintenance tasks, but the Leeds group are fully committed to food growing

• Hyde Park Source also have a volunteer workforce who might help you

• Groundwork Leeds – including corporate volunteers 


TCV Leeds

LCC Parks have a corporate volunteering force

Another great contact for corporate volunteers is Business In the Community (in Pudsey)


Other Sources of Labour

Community Payback is a probation community service which is often looking for projects for their clients to work on. A phone call could deliver a posse of lads (or lasses) willing and able to help.

Please advise of any broken links, or links you think should be included here.