Author and group leader Alan Heeks is seeking up to six people to work with him as Advocates, sharing the Natural Happiness approach by selling and running workshops, online and in person.
Alan Heeks has a unique approach to cultivating wellbeing and resilience using organic gardening and farms as a model. He has used this approach very successfully with a wide range of client groups for over 20 years, drawing on his own experience of gardening, and creating a 130-acre organic farm and learning centre in Dorset.
In 2021-22, Alan is planning a campaign to share Natural Happiness more widely, aiming to help meet the widespread need for support with wellbeing. The plan includes magazine features, a book, social media, and workshops delivered by the Advocates. Alan has appointed Charles Howgego as Comms Manager: Charles is a professional journalist and comms expert, who edited the Big Issue for 7 years.
For more about Natural Happiness, see www.naturalhappiness.net.
3. ROLE DESCRIPTION
Overview: The Promotional Advocates will need some expertise in both gardening and wellbeing. They will identify potential clients for events, agree a proposal, and deliver events, with material and support from Alan.
- Each Advocate will have an exclusive geographic area and/or remit for specific types of client. Within this remit, the Advocate will need to research potential clients, such as gardening clubs, environmental groups, etc, and approach them to explore running an event for them.
- Typically an event would last 1-2 hours, using material from Alan, with significant scope for audience participation. These events could be in person or online. The Advocate is free to negotiate the payment terms with each client.
- Events would usually be delivered by one Advocate, who will need the skills to facilitate some experiential processes, and enough knowledge of gardening and the Natural Happiness model to answer questions and guide discussion with participants.
- If Advocates identify new material or information they need, or want to tailor an event to a new client group, Alan is happy to provide this. Ideas for other formats are welcome, such as a series of sessions, or longer workshops.
- Alan and Charles aim for the book on Natural Happiness to be published by early 2022. From this time, Advocates will be asked to highlight the book in their events, and encourage participants to buy it.
- There will be periodic online progress meetings for Advocates, e.g. an hour every 3 months.
4. TRAINING AND SUPPORT
This can be mutually negotiated. Initial proposals include:
- The PowerPoint material Alan has already used for such events, plus written support material.
- Backup material covering FAQs, wellbeing resources, etc.
- An electronic copy of the book manuscript.
- Attending a weekend residential workshop led by Alan on Natural Happiness at Hazel Hill Wood near Salisbury, July 9-11.
- Alan available by video call and email for queries and support.
5. FINANCES AND COMMITMENT
An informal written agreement would be signed by Alan and each Advocate to confirm mutual commitments. The financial arrangements are as follows:
- The support material and time described above, including the residential workshop priced at £220, would be provided by Alan free of charge.
- The Advocate will invest unpaid time in prospecting and negotiating with clients.
- The Advocate can set their own terms regarding payment for delivering sessions, including travel expenses. They will keep all such payments, except for a 5% royalty on session fees payable to Alan.
The proposed time commitments are:
- Advocates should be able to maintain this role to the end of 2022.
- Advocates should have time availability to deliver a minimum of 3 events per month, in person or online.
6. ABOUT YOU
A real passion for gardening and wellbeing are essential, and significant actual gardening experience is preferable. Strong interest in sustainability, resilience, and positive responses to climate change are desirable. You need to have good communication and group facilitation skills, and to be comfortable making approaches to potential clients.
It will be helpful if you have some contacts and familiarity with one or more of our main potential client groups: we see these as gardening clubs, environmental groups, and wellbeing networks – maybe you can add to the list!
7. HOW TO APPLY
Please send an application email plus a CV or profile to Alan. Feel free to include a link to website or video material. The application deadline is March 31.
Shortlist interviews will be held with Alan and Charles using video calls. You will be asked to make a 5-minute presentation as part of this.