Volunteering & Leadership Experiences

We currently have vacancies for the following long term roles as part of our leadership experience, click the role to find out more:

    • Do you dream of a world where we live, work and connect in a different way?
    • Would you like the opportunity to step out of your daily routine to explore your perspectives of how to live in the world, in the context of our beautiful countryside in Devon?
    • Would you like to experience what it feels like to be exploring those questions, living and working alongside others as part of a community?
    • Are you seeking to gain experience in a dynamic and unique social enterprise and contribute to realising that enterprise’s potential?
    • Are you eager to use your skills and experience to contribute to how we impact upon the world and develop new skills along the way?
    • Are you ready to work hard while developing your capacity for leadership and taking action?
    • Are you looking for structured opportunities to support you on your Twin Trail, including coaching and opportunities to organise and attend workshops within the community?

Volunteerig opportunities

community volunteers

What is the leadership experience?

We are seeking people to fulfil key coordinator positions at Embercombe, living and working here for up to a year, specialising in specific areas of the operation. Coordinators work alongside managers and fulfil key roles of supervision and responsibility. In collaboration with other members of the team, coordinators have the opportunity to shape their role into one that best meets their own developmental needs and the needs of the organisation. In recognising the level of commitment and responsibility required in these positions compared to the volunteer positions, a small stipend is provided to cover basic living expenses.

As part of the leadership experience, you will have a specific role specialising in and contributing to one key area of our work. You will be a full member of the team and will take responsibility for engaging with and hosting all those who visit Embercombe either on programmes or as volunteers. We ask that you work 37.5 hours per week on your core duties, with some flexibility. In addition, as a resident you will also be required to volunteer two evening kitchen shifts a month.

Living on-site, the coordinators will live alongside those on our short-term volunteer experience and some staff members. The scheme offers a wonderful opportunity to live, work and play as part of a larger community of people – our volunteers, staff, participants on our programmes and visitors – who share the passion for the Twin Trail and honouring the Children’s Fire.

The exchange

We will support you to develop your capacity for leadership, to take responsibility, and to take action for a better world, both at Embercombe and after your time here.  The roles are challenging and can be tiring, physically and emotionally demanding, and involve mundane work.  However, we hope that the exchange that we offer is strong, fair and an exciting prospect to you!

We outline the full exchange in the role descriptions. It includes a small stipend, accommodation, and a whole range of benefits gained from contributing to Embercombe’s ongoing evolution, the chance to explore your own worldview and share perspectives with others, and the opportunities for growth, joy and friendship that arise while living, working and playing as part of the Embercombe community.

We also offer some personal and professional development opportunities for coordinators that includes regular coaching and oppotunities to attend or organise workshops.

In return for your time, energy and hard work, we offer you the following benefits:

  • Living with fellow change makers as part of a vibrant and welcoming community
  • Exploring your world-view and meeting a diverse range of people
  • Experiencing authenticity in communication and action
  • The opportunity to develop and share your gifts
  • On-going professional and personal support and development, including a monthly 1 hour session with a personal coach
  • Deepening your own development with a place on our flagship programme ‘The Journey’ or on our ‘Speaking Out’ programme.
  • An opportunity to network, share ideas and spark further thinking around action in the world with social pioneers and fellow change-makers including Embercombe founder Mac Macartney
  • Living and working on a beautiful 50-acre site with woodland, forest gardens and a lake, on the edge of Dartmoor National Park
  • £40 a week stipend
  • Basic accommodation on site
  • Delicious free organic breakfast, lunch and dinner made with locally grown, seasonal produce
  • 25 days annual leave plus an allowance equivalent to statutory bank holidays.
  • Opportunities to organise and attend events such as film nights and performance nights
  • EmberChoir 5-6pm Wednesdays led by choir director Helen Yeomans

Who are we looking for?

We need you to have an existing level of skill and experience in your area of responsibility. You will join our developing team as a strong communicator, thinker and doer. We love ideas but we also love action, so an ability to roll up your sleeves and make things happen is essential.

You will be naturally entrepreneurial, pragmatic, inclusive, and resilient. You will be interested in growing as a whole person, open to asking tough questions of yourself, and willing to embrace new ways of thinking, being and doing.

What is the volunteer experience?

Our residential volunteering experience is an exciting and inspiring opportunity to support Embercombe in its work to fulfil its purpose:

To catalyse the emergence of innovative and powerful leaders who take courageous action for a just, peaceful and sustainable world

Our team of volunteers is essential to the day to day operational delivery necessary to support that work. While this means working hard as part of a team, it is also a wonderful opportunity to live, work and play in a larger community of people – coordinators, staff, participants on our programmes, other volunteers and visitors – who seek to practice the art of authentic relationship and develop their own capacity to lead in creating a better world.

You will be required to carry out a wide range of tasks from growing food to cleaning bathrooms to support the wide range of Embercombe’s activity. We will try to balance individual preferences as best as can where possible. You will also be required to work non-standard hours at times which we will balance throughout the working week.

Our residential volunteers work alongside the staff, assistants and other volunteers in the wider Embercombe community to support all the activity that takes place on-site, including our residential programmes in authentic leadership such as The Journey and the Catalyst, programmes for educators and young people, venue hire, and ticketed and taster events.

We have several spaces on-site where volunteers work. In your time here, you are likely to work in several areas that may include working in the garden, on the land, in the office, in the kitchen, carrying out general housekeeping and working with the site and maintenance team. A large part of your time here will be spent cleaning, cooking, preparing food and washing dishes. Another key role of volunteers is to host some of the activities that take place here.

Embercombe has an ethos of working within the ‘Twin Trail’ of both personal development and work in the world. We believe that we are most effective in the world when we are committed to our own personal growth, and use the path of work and action to take us further in our own growth. The hard work that we ask of our volunteers is a beautiful opportunity to practice both aspects of the Twin Trail. We seek feedback from volunteers as to how their experience can support them to develop personally as well as build up their skills to be able to take action in the world after their time here. We aim for all our volunteers’ experience to be rich and nourishing.

The exchange

In return for your time, energy and hard work, we offer you the following benefits:

  • Living with fellow change makers as part of a vibrant and welcoming community
  • Exploring your world-view and meeting a diverse range of people
  • Experiencing authenticity in communication and action
  • The opportunity to develop and share your gifts
  • On-going professional and personal support and development, including a monthly 1 hour session with a personal coach
  • An opportunity to network, share ideas and spark further thinking around action in the world with social pioneers and fellow change-makers including Embercombe founder Mac Macartney
  • Living and working on a beautiful 50-acre site with woodland, forest gardens and a lake, on the edge of Dartmoor National Park
  • Basic accommodation on site
  • Delicious free organic breakfast, lunch and dinner made with locally grown, seasonal produce
  • Opportunities to organise and attend events such as film nights and performance nights
  • EmberChoir 5-6pm Wednesdays led by choir director Helen Yeomans

We are not accepting applications for our Summer placement at the moment. If you have any questions, please contact Kim or Ros, Community Co-ordinators, on 01647 252983 or email volunteering@embercombe.org


Day volunteering

We very much value those who have and who would like to come and support our land, site and programmes. However, our day volunteer offer is currently being reviewed. If you would like to be kept informed of changes, please sign up to our newsletter or if you have any questions, please email us.

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)

Accommodation

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.

Social

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.

Food

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.

Know someone who might be interested?