Volunteers are the life-blood of the Harvest Launceston Community Farmers’ Market. Each week volunteers give up a few hours of their morning to join the Harvest community to ensure the smooth operation of the market.
Jomeh is now a regular face at one of the four entry gates to the Harvest farmers’ market. Jomeh joined Harvest Launceston as a volunteer last year and soon became an invaluable member of the Harvest team. He was introduced to the market by his friend Hadi, an accredited interpreter based in Launceston and representative of the Afghan/Hazara community.
Jomeh arrived in Tasmania last year. He left his home country Afghanistan with his wife Kolsoum and their five children. He reached Tasmania after a long journey via Iran.
Jomeh enjoys being on gate duty as it gives him the opportunity to meet people and to practice his English. Each week volunteers are at the entry gates to the market, where they meet and greet locals and visitors, answer any questions and often keep an eye on the many Harvest hounds as they enjoy a sniff and a smell.
There are two gate shifts between 8.30am and 12.30pm, each lasting two hours and they are, says Jomeh, an ideal opportunity to get to know regular market goers, make friends and enhance your language skills. The first shift of the day begins at 7.15am as a volunteer crew sets up the public infrastructure, such as the seating and marquees. The final shift of the day is from 12.30pm as a team takes down the marquees and packs away the tables, chairs and signs.
Volunteering does not only benefit the Harvest market but research has shown that volunteers are happier, more successful and local communities are strengthened. To say thank you, Ritual Coffee donates a coffee or other drink and stallholders provide volunteer crews with a choice of breakfasts.
Anyone interested in volunteering we would love to ear from you. Please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, visit our website at harvestmarket.org.au or visit us on a Saturday morning at the Harvest marquee where one of our wonderful volunteers will be happy to chat with you.