At Hands of Hope our mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of people and planet by connecting communities to nature and each other.
We aim to continue the restoration and development of our beautiful, 22-acre site, creating a landmark at the heart of the community with focus on providing affordable and accessible life-improving programmes tackling, rural isolation, loneliness, and food poverty, as well as improving physical & mental health delivered under the model “GCSE – Growing, Cooking, Social & Skills, Environment”.
Volunteers have been and will continue to be, at the heart of everything we do.
We passionately believe in investing in our volunteers and regularly provide training and workshops in heritage crafts and skills connected with our projects. Learn seed saving in our Edwardian Walled Garden or herbal medicine, mindfulness and yoga in our glasshouse. You may want to build a pond dipping platform, lay a dead hedge or make a trug; there is something for everyone. We actively encourage all ages and abilities.
There is increasing evidence to show personal benefits from gardening and community food growing such as reduced stress levels, improved mental health and wellbeing and an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption.
Join us in our Edwardian walled kitchen garden to learn organic, no-dig techniques. Help to grow food for local community food banks in this idyllic setting and chat alongside our gardeners and volunteers.
Our gardeners work throughout the year – from collecting seeds to harvesting fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. All ages and abilities are welcome. Learn, share, chat and take away a cucumber or two!
Sessions: Tuesdays & Fridays – 9am-1pm
A community space for people to connect, converse and create.
Nestled between our walled garden and heritage orchard, The Shed is a free community space to learn heritage woodworking skills, chat, and work on personal and on-site repairs. The Shed is fully stocked with tools for all types of woodwork, and workshops offer the chance to learn traditional crafts.
Come along for tea and a chat Wednesdays & Fridays – 10am-2pm
Be part of our team of friendly beekeepers and help maintain the heritage orchard.
Learn from our head beekeeper how to manage and maintain a hive, collect and spin honey, collect the apples, and prune the fruit trees in our ancient orchard. Activities are designed for adults and children, including school and holiday workshops. Workshops include Beekeeping for Beginners, Weekly Social Group, Schools Nature-based delivery and Children’s Holiday Activities.
Sessions: Wednesdays & Fridays – 10am-12pm
A public health resource vital to local communities.
Popular with older people, lunch clubs can support independence and wellbeing, positively impacting nutrition.
Based in Peasmarsh with a new club planned for Hawkhurst during 2024, we provide a morning of fun, friendship and catching up, followed by a delicious & nutritious two-course lunch and an afternoon of entertainment. Delivered by a team of friendly volunteers, have a chat while serving up a hot meal and enjoy the performance. A good time is had by all.
Lunch Club: 1st Monday of the Month – 9am-4pm for a full session; volunteers can work flexibly within this time.
Combining natural and community heritage, we aim to teach people and their communities’ practical ways to sustain, conserve, protect and improve the natural environment by connecting them with nature and each other.
Bring your skills, knowledge and wellies and join our conservation team in 22 Acres of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Please help us to conserve, rewild and preserve our woodlands and meadows using traditional skills and up-to-date ecological knowledge. We need dead hedge layers, nature surveyors, pond experts and enthusiastic novices to learn and build a better future for nature.
Sessions are flexible, Tuesdays – 9am-4pm
Help us help our communities thrive.
Do you have time to spare and want to learn new skills, such as bricklaying? Or carpentry? All taught under the supervision of skilled craftsmen? All in all it’s just another brick in the wall, and we have quite a few to put into place!
All volunteers will have their names on our virtual brick wall, which is being built alongside the physical ones, and will also be invited to the Grand Opening event when the Cook School and Greenhouse are complete.
Sessions TBC – please get in touch for more information.
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