Fixed contract

Allotment Soup – Community Gardener

Fee: £4,000

Required: 44 days over 6 months

(8 days a month, June to October 2022; 4 days in November 2022)

Future contract may be possible, subject to funding.


Art Gene is an arts charity based in Barrow-in-Furness. We work with communities, developing projects around thesocial natural and built environment.


We established ‘Allotment Soup – Isle of Walney, community growing space’ over six years ago and it continues to develop. Our focus is on developing Community, Food and Biodiversity.

On the off-grid site, there are both community-managed and Art Gene-run growing plots, a large pond, hot composting, a wormery and a developing forest garden. We grow organic food, to serve at events and to share with volunteers. With the help of volunteers, we have created a stock of tools and erected two industrial polytunnels. These sheltered spaces are the venue for our engagement work with schools and other partnership work and are used for potting up, growing and lots of tea drinking.


We are looking for an engaging individual with a real enthusiasm for and a knowledge of growing and an ability to share this passion with the Allotment Soup Community.


Objectives & Purpose of the Role:


  1. Develop and deliver a regular community growing session on Allotment Soup – Isle of Walney Community Growing space.
  2. Work with the allotment volunteers and wider community to support organic food production, sustainable growing practices and planting for biodiversity.
  3. Undertake seasonal gardening maintenance work, including tool cleaning, weeding, planting, pruning, grass cutting, strimming and watering the plants and cropping, ensuring the whole site is always well-maintained.
  4. Work with the Art Gene Arts Project and Communications Manager and Low Carbon Engagement Lead to promote activities and with our wider creative teams and Founder-Artists as required to help facilitate events on site.


The contract holder should expect to work on gardening tasks for 1.5 days a week and with the public 0.5 days a week. Timings can be negotiated, although two Friday afternoons a month would be desirable.

Place of work:

Allotment Soup, Isle of Walney Community Growing Space,

Mill Lane, Walney, Barrow-in- Furness, Cumbria  LA14 3XX



  • Help ensure a healthy seasonal crop is produced in 2022.
  • Maintain and be responsible for all tools and equipment on site, including wildlife cameras.
  • Work collaboratively with the team to plan, publicise and deliver hands-on gardening activity and maintenance.
  • Communicate with and promote the Allotment Soup project to interested parties, as required, for example, by leading informal tours of the site.
  • Make recommendations for future growing and for development of the site.
  • Ensure Art Gene’s equal opportunity, diversity, and health and safety polices are adhered to and ensure the project is accessible and welcoming to marginalised groups.
  • Provide data on the people who engage with the project for funders and management, as required.
  • Be responsive to the changing needs of the Allotment Soup project and take on any additional duties and tasks as required to deliver the contract.


Person Specification


Essential Skills and Qualifications

Demonstrable knowledge of horticulture

Excellent interpersonal skills

Ability to teach volunteers by example the principles of good horticultural practice

Driving license


Personal Qualities

Approachable and engaging

Self-motivated, with ability to work autonomously and manage own workload

Able to take a flexible approach to delivering the objectives of the project; adaptable and creative approach.

Excited by the potential of a community growing space and of the role of community gardener; keen to communicate this enthusiasm to as wide an audience as possible



Experience of managing an allotment or large productive garden space

Experience of working with volunteers and community groups

Understanding of sustainability and the importance of gardening in a nature-friendly way.

Art Gene will undertake a DBS check.



Please email a c.v. and a letter expressing your interest and suitability to take on the contract to by 10am on Monday, 23 May 2022. Please include the names of two referees, including phone numbers (not relatives).

Fixed contract





Food, Futures & Biodiversity Event – November 2021- Photo Maddi Nicholson


Real Barrow, no more hot air. Communities across Barrow-in-Furnesss working together to make change. Hand drawn image of wooden placard.

Further Reading