Are you looking for fun volunteer work that will be meaningful, fulfilling and help make a difference?
Become a Volunteer at Festina Lente as we may be the perfect place for you!
Festina Lente charity is known for its work with humans, horses and horticulture through a varied and innovative range of equine related and horticultural activities.
As a non profit charity we welcome Volunteers who can help us on a regular basis with our work in our stable yard, our walled Victorian gardens and grounds, our garden centre, cafe and gift shop, our administration offices and helping with general maintenance.
We also have volunteers who help us at our special events throughout the year like our fun dog shows, nature crafts workshops, treasure hunts, tours of Festina Lente and art and craft workshops.
Festina Lente relies on a team of dedicated, hard working and committed volunteers who help us in all the different areas of work that we do.
Thank you for your interest in supporting our charitable work!
Volunteer Job Description & Application Criteria:
Volunteer shifts are a minimum of 3 hours and while we know that people’s circumstances do change we do ask that people try and commit to volunteering with us for a minimum of 6 months. All volunteers will need to be Garda Vetted and due to new legislation starting in April 29th 2016 the Garda Vetting must be completed before a volunteer can start with us in Festina Lente.
Each year Festina Lente hosts a series of one day fundraising events. On these days we require help in erecting the marquees, setting out tables and chairs, helping out with arts & craft workshops, treasure hunts, etc, working on stalls, helping Wonder Paws at the dog show event, car park supervision, catering, general clearing of tables, staffing registration table, empting bins and interacting with the visitors. Volunteers for our fun events must be age 16 or over and enjoying working with, meeting and helping children and adults.
Children’s Camps, Workshops & Parties
Assisting Festina Lente staff. Preparing the nature & craft workshops and cleanup. Supervising and helping children with their projects. Volunteers for our Children’s Camps, Workshops & Parties must be age 18 or over and must have a genuine interest in arts & crafts, children’s entertainment, and working with people of all abilities.
This position would be helping out the office staff (main office, riding school, gardens, etc) in a variety of office administration areas. Volunteers for our office administration must be age 16 or over and Microsoft Windows & Office computer experience.
All Volunteers for the Equestrian Centre must have experience working with horses and managing their care in a stable environment and want to work with people of all abilities. If aged between 12 & 18 you must have completed our Equestrian Centre Helpers programme which you can then become a Equestrian Centre helper, please click here to read more details on our Equestrian Centre Helpers Programme.
Victorian Walled Gardens:
You will be helping with day-to-day garden maintenance work, primarily weeding, edging, mulching, planting, cutting back and deadheading, bagging manure, etc. As a Garden Volunteer there may be times when you will be asked to support other teams in the garden. Volunteers for our Victorian Walled Garden must be age 16 or over and must have a genuine interest in gardening, and working with people of all abilities.
Garden Centre, Cafe & Gift Shop:
Attending customers, re-stocking, watering our outdoor plants and keeping seasonal plant displays in good condition. Cleaning and tidying outdoor seating area. Help maintain an organized and clean working environment, assisting with recycling. Volunteers for our Garden Centre, Cafe & Gift Shop must be age 16 or over and must have a genuine interest in gardening, and working with people of all abilities.
A sense of culture and history is helpful. Also a strong voice with an ability to hold an audience. A Volunteer is required to leading groups of 5 to 30 people through the 2.5 acre garden. Interact with visitors, telling the history of the garden and the family who once lived on the estate. The work, history of FL, answering questions. Have some knowledge of horticulture and be able to answer questions on different areas of planting. Volunteers as a Tour Guide must be age 16 or over and must have a genuine interest in working with people of all abilities.
Horse / Equine Support Person in an Equine Assisted Learning Programme
The role of the horse/equine person is to work with the Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator as part of Equine Assisted Learning Sessions for young people and for families. The main role of the horse/equine person is to ensure the welfare of the horses during the Equine Assisted Learning sessions and to ensure the safety of the people who are participating in the Equine Assisted Learning Sessions. In addition, the horse/equine person will work closely with the facilitator in reviewing sessions and planning subsequent sessions.
The volunteer will be involved in the following tasks:
- Getting horses ready for sessions
- Bringing horses to and from the arena – this may be done in conjunction with the EAL participants and may also include bringing horses to and from the field.
- Ensuring that the horses are able to behave as naturally as possible during EAL sessions
- Advocating for horse welfare during and after EAL sessions
- Working closely with the facilitator during and after sessions in relation to observations during the sessions regarding both the participants and the horses
- To jointly develop EAL reports after sessions and plan subsequent sessions
The volunteer must have a solid understanding of horse behaviour such that he/she can diagnose a variety of behaviours. The volunteer should be able to observe EAL sessions in a non-judgemental way and should have good observational skills. Previous experience of working with horses. Some experience of working from a reflective,facilitating approach would be beneficial. Due the nature of EAL work, the volunteer should not be younger than 24 years of age. A minimum of 10 months is required for this volunteering role. Ideally, the volunteer will be able to volunteer Monday to Friday between 10.00am and 4.30pm. Mondays and Fridays preferably for the day. Whilst it would very positive to have one volunteer commit to 2 days, it would be equally beneficial to have two volunteers who could commit one day per week
General Maintenance of the buildings and grounds of Festina Lente Foundation. Volunteers for General Maintenance must be age 16 or over and have General Maintenance experience.
Volunteer Application Procedure:
We warmly welcome and appreciate the value and support we get from our volunteers whose time and skills experience interests and enthusiasm help the Festina Lente Foundation fulfil its charitable aims. All volunteers will receive an induction and training in the relevant department. We understand it will take a period of time to adjust and become familiar with our busy working environment. Due to the large number of people who volunteer we have an admissions protocol.
- All applications submitted are dealt with once a week by staff therefore it is imperative that you allow yourself plenty of time before your desired start dates, we would request your patience with your application.
- If at all possible, application need to be submitted at least 6 weeks prior to desired start date. Please note we are unable to have anyone volunteering with Festina Lente until the Garda Vetting is completed as per Irish legislation and that Garda Vetting may take between 20-60 days to be completed by the Gardai.
- All applications must be made on our Volunteer Application Forms, click here to apply online to volunteer with Festina Lente. This allows us to have all information correctly filed; it also allows us to match expectations as closely as possible. People under the age of 18 years of age must list their parent or guardian’s contact details on their application form as permission will be required by them. Application forms that are not fully completed, signed and with all the relevant information will NOT be processed so please ensure to fill in all details correctly.
- On receipt of Volunteer applications, you can expect the following:
- A notification email will be sent of receipt of application. You may be requested to give additional information relating to your experience.
- We will send your referee’s a feedback form for them to fill in so please let them know to expect this and ask them to send it back to us asap.
- You will be contacted by phone or email in relation to an informal interview
- You will be invited attend an informal interview
- You will be get notification of your acceptance if suitable or advice relating to training if needed.
- You will be emailed Garda Vetting Forms for you to fill in and send to us as soon as you can. Please note we are unable to have anyone volunteering with Festina Lente until the Garda Vetting is completed as per Irish legislation and that Garda Vetting may take between 20-60 days to be completed by the Gardai.
- You will be sent the NVB1 form which you must post back or drop back to us as we will then send that for Garda processing.
- The gardai will then send you an email containing a link to the main form NVB2. Please keep an eye on your emails (including your junk email box) for the email from the garda as the link only works for 20 days.
- Please fill in all your details including your eircodes.
- The Gardai will then process your vetting application.
- When your vetting is completed by the Gardai we will get a notification that it is complete and your manager\supervisor in Festina Lente will be notified to contact you regarding your start date.
- On the first day, you will be invited to an induction with the yard supervisor, administration contact or gardens supervisor.
We would ask that volunteers be able to volunteer for either a half day or full day on a regular basis with a commitment of a minimum of 6 months. Click here to read our Volunteer Policies
We request that all volunteers adhere to the dress code at Festina Lente. Volunteers should wear a navy or black polo shirt, navy or black jumper or fleece, comfortable sturdy outdoor boots and navy or black trousers or denim jeans or navy, cream or black jodhpurs if working in the riding school. All volunteers should have in their possession waterproof clothing, and jewellery is not permitted on the yard, garden or general maintenance areas. We do not recommend you bring any valuables to Festina Lente. Mobile phones are not permitted in any of the Equestrian Centre areas. You are required for Health and Safety reasons to wear reinforced safety boots in the Garden or if doing maintenance. We also recommend you wear appropriate gardening gloves while working with the soil.
Volunteer Application Form
If you have any queries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
School or College Work Experience or Internships
If you are coming from a school or college for Work Experience and want to do 3 months or less work experience please click to apply here.
If you wish to do an internship for 3 months or more through a school or college please click here.