November 2021 - October 2022
Merton, South London
Come on our brilliant orcharding course and become an accredited community orchardist.
Our Level 3 Certificate in Community Orcharding (CICO) teaches you everything you need to know about designing and managing community orchards. You will benefit from our expert team of experienced orchardists who have already helped 75 students gain the Certificate. The course starts in November and finishes in October next year. The course is spread out over the year with 1/2 in-person days per month. By coming on this course, you’ll be joining our supportive network of orchardists and may have the chance to come on additional workdays, e.g. apple harvesting or maintaining orchards.
“I really enjoyed the CICO course and the people I met. I found the course to be informative, practical and good fun. I especially enjoyed the holistic aspects. I can’t think of anything that would make the course better.” Previous CICO Graduate.
Are you eligible?
This Level 3 training is free of charge, in exchange for 3 days of volunteering with The Orchard Project, Mitcham Community Orchard or Deen City Farm. However, you must be able to answer ‘yes’ to the following seven questions:
- Are you able to make all the dates below? All the venues are in Merton so you should consider how you would travel to them. You must be able to attend the whole course to be able to get the Certificate.
- Do you live in Merton/Croydon/Kingston upon Thames/ Richmond upon Thames/ Sutton?
- Can you show that you are unemployed or ‘economically inactive’ and do you plan on getting a job or attending another training course after this one? About 1/3 of previous course participants found this course helpful in finding paid employment or further training.
- Do you have the right to live and work in the UK? If you are an EU citizen, do you have settled or pre-settled status?
- Do you think you could handle a level 3 course? It’s similar to doing an A level and you will be assessed on 13 pieces of homework. However, we can be flexible here; e.g. if it’s not for you, you could attend without being assessed for the Certificate.
- Are you able to do basic tasks on a computer? You need to be able to write and save documents, upload them to our online platform (details would be given) and be able to do simple internet research, e.g. on the history of an orchard. N.B., the first day of the course, 1st November, is specifically designed to help make sure you can do this.
- Would you be really keen to learn loads about orchards, including how to design your own one?
If you can answer yes to all of these questions, please register your interest here and we will be in touch with you. If it says sold out, please do sign up for the waitlist as on our previous courses, quite a few spaces have become available.
Economically Inactive or Unemployed
We’re really keen on this training to help people get a job, ideally in the community food growing sector. In fact our funding is based on this, so it’s important to us that you are genuinely interested in getting work or going into a higher level training course once you’ve been with us.
Economically Inactive: You are neither employed nor unemployed. It includes people who want a job but have not been seeking work. You will not be receiving benefits and are supporting yourself financially through a third party such as family members or savings. Some reasons why you might be economically inactive are: you’ve retired early, you look after children, you’re a lone parent, you are long-term sick or you’re looking after the home. If you are economically inactive you will need to get a verification from a third party or family member.
Unemployed: You are without a job, want a job, and have actively sought work. You must be registered with a government agency such as the DWP or job centre. You will need to show some kind of proof of this such as a recent letter or screenshot of your Universal Credit statement.
Every day of the course runs from 10am – 4pm. Please make sure you arrive promptly for each session. We will aim to complete the course in this time span and we will try to stick with Mondays (with two Tuesdays) for our training days.
If you have any queries, please contact Max firstname.lastname@example.org
Why do we have the selection criteria?
We’re very pleased to be receiving funding from the European Social Fund and the government (via London Learning Consortium) to help people find ways into work or into more advanced training. We have set some ambitious targets for this. If you are looking for a way to be more employable in the community food sector and have the makings of a tree geek, this course could be for you!