Running a sustainable education centre, community and guesthouse is a lot of work! We couldn’t do what we do without the help of short-term and long-term volunteers, so we are very thankful for all their hard work. There are usually six volunteers at Monkton at any one time, working in exchange for lodging, food, learning and a taste of community life.

Volunteers processing beans

Volunteers Processing Beans

We usually invite volunteers for a stay of two weeks at first, with the possibility of extending this if all are in agreement and there is space. There is sometimes capacity for longer-term volunteers, usually to lend special skills to specific projects here. We also have several local volunteers who spend half a day per week working with us in exchange for lunch. Volunteering is also the first step towards becoming a community member. Our volunteers come from all over the world and range in age from school leavers to pensioners, or come as a family (see note below). Please note that we cannot host volunteers under the age of 18 without an accompanying adult.

Volunteers Collecting Firewood

Volunteers Collecting Firewood

The work includes assisting us with gardening, cooking, cleaning, farm work, office work and maintaining the grounds and buildings. We encourage volunteers to both to share existing skills and to expand their experience, so they will usually rotate between various areas according to current necessity. Volunteers work around 35 hours per week, with two days off, and should be aware that some of the work is physically demanding and come prepared for working outdoors!

Community members and volunteers eat meals together and take it in turns to keep communal areas clean. There are often informal activities in the evenings, often organised by the volunteers themselves, such as film evenings, trips to the beach or music-making around the fire. We can’t promise to entertain you, but we do have lots of ideas and resources for sustainable entertainment, including our library, films, games, local walks folder, pub, fire pit and so on. Whilst course activities are open to paying participants only, volunteers have the opportunity to join in yoga or Morris-dancing classes for a small fee.

Food and Facilities

Apple Harvest (Photo by Howard Davis)

Apple Harvest (Photo by Howard Davis)

The kitchen is vegetarian; we grow organic vegetables and fruit, and have fresh eggs from our chickens and organic milk, cream, cheese and yoghurt from our two Jersey cows. We can cater for some special diets if given advance notice. Most cooking and heating is wood-fuelled and we try to favour local products if we cannot produce them ourselves.

We do not have childcare facilities on site. While we may on occasion be able to offer volunteer places for adults with children, this is not possible during family week holidays and we ask for a monetary contribution toward room and board in these cases.

We regret that we cannot accommodate volunteers with pets.

volunteers haymaking

Volunteers haymaking

Download Volunteer Booking Form

The first step to becoming a volunteer is to fill in an application form

Once you’ve filled in your form you can email or post it back to us, we will then contact you and (depending on availability) organise the dates for your visit. Volunteer places are limited and are often booked up quite far in advance, especially in the summer, so be sure to book ahead if you are only available on certain dates. We can usually squeeze people in at shorter notice if they are interested in community membership. If you would like more information, please contact us with your questions.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.