volunteering at Embercombe

Volunteer Life

When you volunteer at Embercombe you will live and work in a rich and vibrant community. The daily activities for all volunteers are designed to support the running of our charity and the various programmes that we host and include working in the garden, the kitchen, general housekeeping and site or maintenance and any other job needed on the day! The volunteer programme also emphasises developing the ‘Twin Trail’ for each volunteer.

The Twin Trail represents your self-leadership ability. An inner path (self-development) is explored alongside an outer path (your activities in the world). In practice, while you volunteer with Embercombe you will be given the opportunity to develop this inner connection with yourself through a range of activities, as well as undertaking physical day to day tasks. You will be invited to attend monthly one-to-one mentoring, breath work, listening partnerships and community activities that change on a regular basis.

This rich and varied Volunteer Programme aims to equip you with practical and personal tools to take away with you, enabling you to take further action in your own life towards a more heart-centred and sustainable way of living.

A typical week day:

Time Activity
7.00 – 8.00am Breakfast
8.30 am Morning check-in, start of the working day
9.00am Start in your area of work
11.00am Morning tea break (15mins) then back to work
1.00 pm Lunch (1 hour)
2.00 pm Announcement circle and then work in your area
3.30 pm Afternoon tea break (15mins) then back to work
5.00 pm Finish work. Have all tools cleared away by now!
6.30 pm Supper (changeable)


You will stay in volunteer’s accommodation, made up of shared yurts or cabins. In the Summer months (from  April) some volunteers are asked to camp. There are also limited spaces to park vans by prior agreement. The campsite has running water and a fire pit for your personal use. All volunteers have access to hot showers and flush toilets located in the main complex. There are also compost toilets found in several locations, and on-site facilities to wash your clothes.

A large caravan with a wood burner and small kitchen is available throughout the week for exclusive use by volunteers.

Volunteers are welcome to use other social spaces across the site during the evenings and weekends, when these are not in use by programmes.

Shops and Local Amenities

There is a small shop in the local village of Trusham which is a 40 minute walk from Embercombe and a 24-hour garage ten minutes drive away. The closest Post Office is situated in Higher Ashton, approximately 20 minutes walk away.


We often hold talks, films and public events and encourage resident volunteers to join. Volunteers regularly organise and run their own evening and weekend events, occasionally arranging group trips to events happening outside of Embercombe. Community activities including our drop-in choir and singing around the fire are enduringly popular with residents.

You will be living on a beautiful 55 acre site with plenty of facilities where you can learn new skills such as green-woodworking, fire building, forgery, pizza oven building, spoon whittling, nature connection, basket-weaving and whatever else inspires you.


Our abundant gardens here at Embercombe provide most of our food, supplemented by local and organic suppliers when needed. We have a well deserved reputation for serving delicious, wholesome, nourishing food. You will have all meals and light snacks provided for you during your stay.

The menu is mostly vegetarian with some meat served on special occasions, however we happily cater for vegans. Outside of this we do our best to cater for specific dietary requirements that are reasonable and can be sustained in the context of cooking for a large community of people. Non-vegetarian dishes are created with wild meat (rabbit and venison) and occasionally Embercombe-raised meat (lamb and chicken) and are offered every few weeks and for celebration suppers.

The volunteer caravan has a small cooker and a fridge where you are welcome to prepare and store your own food if required.

If you are interested in finding out more please click on one of the links below:


“There are few times in life where an opportunity arises to enquire deeply into yourself and what it actually means to be a human being in these times. Living in community can be challenging on many levels, but the deep sense of connection to the land, to other people and myself has made it one of the most important times of my life. Through volunteering at Embercombe, I’ve experienced moments of radiating joy and also deep sadness and loss for our planet, but my time here has germinated a renewed determination to move forward, live a true and connected life.”
Becks Scarrott, Volunteer Marketing and Communications Intern, UK, 2014/15

“Embercombe is so special to me because of the unconditional love, heartwarming openness and acceptance of every single person’s values and point of views. It is indescribable how much you changed me, allowed me to see new directions and choose to take new paths. Coming from a very different background, this time was probably the first real lesson for me of how life can be seen and lived.”
Luisa Firsching, Three Month Volunteer Programme, Germany, 2014

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