New Year brings big news for COCA

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On 6th January we had fantastic news from our friends at UNA Exchange…thanks to their support we will be welcoming two new arrivals to the COCA team on the 5th February. Agnes and Hugo – both from France – will be joining us as EVS (European Voluntary Service) volunteers on a full time basis to work with Caz, Gerald and the rest of the COCA core group to grow the seasonal food for our community project and at the same time learn about low impact organic farming and community supported agriculture.

Agnes is passionate about farming and local organic food. She is a member of a French association called Terre de Liens which raises funds to buy land for organic farmers that cannot afford it. She is musical and very active. Since finding out that she would be joining us she has been doing a course on farming at her local agricultural college. Agnes will be part of the COCA team for ten months.

Hugo is very motivated by environmental issues. During his time in university he was involved in a number of projects including a community garden, cycle repair workshops and events to promote organic food. Towards the end of last year he helped organise an event in Paris with the citizens movement Alternatiba to raise awareness of environmental issues such as factory farming and global warming through an eco-festival. He was also part of a community supported agriculture project when he was a student. Hugo will be with us until the end of August.

The EVS scheme is funded via the Erasmus Plus programme through the European Union. Last Autumn COCA became accredited as an EVS host by the British Council until 2020 which means we will be able to host EVS volunteers at the farm for the next five years! EVS is a very popular scheme across Europe. We advertised our two roles, via UNA, back in the summer and were inundated with applications (we are still regularly getting applications even now). We then shortlisted the applicants, did Skype interviews and finally Agnes and Hugo accepted our offer to spend their EVS experience with COCA.

We’re delighted that Agnes and Hugo will be joining us and look forward to welcoming them both in February. We’re sure that they’ll get well involved in the local community and if you would like to help them settle in by showing them some sites or taking them out on an evening please get in touch (davet@coca-csa.org) or speak to Caz or Gerald on the farm.

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