What are Master Composters?
Master Composters (MCs) are community volunteers who in return for training and support, act as composting ambassadors in their local community. MCs help raise awareness of the benefits of composting, encourage more people to compost at home and support those who already do it. Their aim is to help people successfully produce their own soil improvers, which will in turn help reduce the amount of organic waste going to disposal.
Training for new volunteers will be provided by staff from Garden Organic and Suffolk County Council. In return for the training, ongoing support and free membership of Garden Organic, volunteers are expected to contribute at least 30 hours towards promoting and supporting composting in their local community. Details on how to sign up for the FREE March 2017 2-day training course can be found below. Once Master Composters have completed their training, there are a wide range of ways in which volunteers can contribute to the scheme (see examples below) and help educate and advise other members of the community. We are particularly keen on finding new volunteers who are happy to do composting activities in schools or could help with the administration of the scheme - and are particularly in need of volunteers in the Sudbury and Lowestoft areas of the county.
You can watch existing Suffolk Master Composters talking about their experiences and how the scheme works, below.
How to become a Master Composter Volunteer - Sign up Now!
You don't have to have any prior knowledge of composting or even be particularly 'green-fingered' to become a Master Composter volunteer - just an interest in learning about the subject and a willingness to give up a bit of time to share your new-found knowledge with others. You will be given all the knowledge and resources you need during a 2 -day Foundation Training Course, which is free to attend. Volunteers would need to be present for both days to complete the training. Lunch, refreshments and travelling expenses will be provided for both days training. The next 2-day Foundation Training course for new volunteers will take place in March 2017- see below for dates and joining instructions.
Course content over the two days will cover the following areas:
- The role and potential of home composting in waste minimisation;
- The role of Master Composters in waste minimisation and home composting;
- The benefits of home composting: to the environment and the householder;
- An in-depth look at materials that can and cannot go into a compost bin;
- The composting process: what you need to do to make sure it works;
- Creatures you might find in a compost bin;
- Types of compost bin and how to construct them;
- How to use compost
- Methods and activities to promote home composting
Next 2-day foundation training course.:
Trainees MUST attend Day 1 on 18th March and ONE of the Day 2 dates. All sessions to be held at Stowmarket Community Centre, Hillside, Stowmarket, IP14 2BD.
To book your place on the next two-day training course, or to find out more about the Master Composter Volunteer Scheme please contact Craig Renton on 01473 264795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note we are able to train up to 20 new volunteers - places will be issued on a first come first served basis so please book immediately to avoid disappointment.
Master Composters: What do they do?
Volunteers can get involved in a wide range of activities depending on their skills and preferences - here are a few examples of ways in which they can help:
- Provide advice on home composting to individual householders.
- Visit schools in their community to talk about composting and recycling and/or to support the school’s composting/gardening/environment activities. (Please note master composters may have to undertake a CRB disclosure depending on the type of activity they are involved in. If required the cost of this will be covered by the scheme.)
- Promote the benefits of composting through the local media and parish magazines.
- Give talks to community, residents and allotment groups about the benefits of composting.
- Set up displays to encourage home composting at garden centres, village fetes and other community events.
- Help promote future sales of subsidised compost bins.
- Help develop community composting schemes.
- Help at public ‘open days’ at demonstration composting sites.
- Help with the administration of the scheme.
- Create educational resources
If you, or a group/organisation/school you are involved with, would like some advice from a Suffolk Master Composter please get in touch through the contacts above.