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Freelance contract for a community Greenspace Consultant to Work at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham

Posted April 18, 2017

To develop and implement a design concept and community engagement plan to encourage more visitors to the community orchard at QE Hospital

Contracted period: May/June 17- March 18

Fee: £8,000 (£200/day x 40 days over the contracted period) includes VAT.  We expect applicants to be self-employed and to manage their own tax and national insurance.

Location: QE Hospital and working from home

Responsible to: Programme Director (The Orchard Project) and Head of Inclusion Engagement and Wellbeing (Queen Elizabeth Hospital)

The work so far

The Orchard Project has been working in partnership with Queen Elizabeth (QE) hospital and partners to plant an 80 tree community orchard in the grounds of the hospital. Over the course of the last 2 years we have engaged the local community in our Orchard Leader programme through a series of pruning, maintenance and mulching sessions to encourage people to take ownership of the orchard. We have delivered this work as part of our national Helping Britain Blossom community orchard programme.

With good care and management the orchard should provide an increasingly rich, calm and bountiful space for the hospital community for perhaps the next century and is one part of a wider food-based programme within the grounds.

Next steps

We have secured funding to continue working on Helping Britain Blossom for another two years and we want to focus more on the benefits that community orchards can have for people, and to be able to start to evidence those benefits. The first year of the two year programme will concentrate on designing and creating a space where the hospital community can use as a place of rest, reflection and peace. The hospital community being; staff, patients, visitors, volunteers, participants from the Learning Hub, students and staff from the neighbouring university.

We would like to:

a.      Design a space that utilises the beauty of the orchard, is beneficial for wildlife and encourage people to stop.

  • There are 80 fruit trees spread over 3 areas within the hospital grounds that are looking healthy and well cared for, however we feel that more could be made of these beautiful orchards. We would like people to stop, to pay attention, to engage, to interact and to relax and enjoy the orchard and the surrounding area.
  • To achieve this aim we need to look at how the space is currently used and what would need to be introduced into the space to encourage people to stop and notice including; signage around the hospital to let people know about the orchard. Other additions could be- a sculpture, seating area, a sound scape and complimentary planting.

b.      Understand how visitors engage with the orchard

  • We would like to establish a baseline of footfall and types of visitor engagement with the orchard so we can track any changes throughout the year.
  • To work closely with QE and users of the space to establish at the end of the year if the very existence of the orchard itself is having a valuable impact on the people in the hospital community.
  • We will use this baseline evidence to work with QE and others to create a strategy for orchards in green spaces in NHS Trusts which will be explored further in the second phase April 18-March 19.

c.       Maximise the value of the space to the community

We would like to investigate whether there is interest in forming a group from amongst the hospital community to care for and maximise the benefits of the orchard itself (and perhaps the other orchards on the site too) and whether this would be sustainable long term.

We will work with the hospital community to identify the ways the orchard could benefit them and to implement these in the space. That may be, for example

  • through regular events in the space
  • through creating conditions that make it a calm place for those that are in grief
  • through gathering and using the fruit in the hospital
  • through introducing elements that will enhance and attract biodiversity

Work with hospital volunteers, hospital staff, potentially, if appropriate, some long-term patients and other members of the hospital community to engage them in learning how to care for the orchard. This might include orchard training events for example

Work with the hospital community to organise social events and activities on the site

d.      Offer support and guidance to other Helping Britain Blossom community orchard groups in Birmingham

We would like to continue to be a point of contact for other orchard groups that we have worked with in the first phase of the project. Therefore we will be offering skills and knowledge workshops in orchard care and will provide a point of contact and support for answering questions.

Application Procedure

To apply, please send your CV and a covering letter explaining why you want the contract and what experience you can bring to the role to; Claire Morris, Programme Director at The Orchard Project, at claire@theorchardproject.org.uk

The closing date for applications is 5pm 26th April. Interviews will be held in either Manchester or Birmingham on 4th May.

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This post was written by BOSF

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