Gould Farm is a compassionate, respectful family environment where people with mental illness learn to build more meaningful lives for themselves through work, recreation and community life.

The unique community spirit at Gould Farm offers meaningful work coupled with recreation, singing, music, crafts and a celebration of farming and life.

Gould Farm is a compassionate, respectful family environment where people with mental illness learn to build more meaningful lives for themselves through work, recreation and community life. The services at the farm remain rooted in the belief that every person has something to contribute despite mental or emotional limitations. Central to the farm model is a structured, supportive work environment for guests.

Whether tending to the gardens or roadside store, pasteurizing milk, or preparing wholesome meals, volunteers, staff, and guests alike work together to run this 700-acre farm. When guests can demonstrate an adequate understanding of their strengths and vulnerabilities, the Boston Program serves as a short-term springboard for practicing life skills necessary for living in an urban environment.

2013 marked the 100th anniversary of Gould Farm, the oldest residential therapeutic community in the nation dedicated to helping adults living with mental illness.

What You'll Be Doing

Service Opportunities in Monterey
Farm Base in the Berkshires, MA

Volunteering at Gould Farm

Staff Members generally work in one specific area at the Monterey-based farming community; lead, coach and work with small groups of guests on structured tasks that are required to run the farm; serve as informal counselors and role models; and join in community life and recreation.

Volunteers must make a full-time commitment, usually 12-24 months in length (some summer opportunities may also be available). Although positions are available throughout the year, the greatest need for volunteers occurs in the months of May and September. In order to provide the most fulfilling experience, volunteers are asked to be flexible and work on several areas of the Farm.

Volunteer job opportunities are generally offered in these areas:

Volunteer with baby goat.Residential Support
The Residential Volunteer position provides an excellent opportunity to help people living with mental illness in a direct and meaningful way. The Residential team provides support for guests in their off-work time: organizing activities, driving trips off-farm, assisting with activities of daily living, and most importantly, forming relationships with the people they serve. Residential Advisors primarily serve in the guest residences, maintaining a communal living space, working with guests on individual goals in the houses, and providing overnight support.

Forestry and Grounds
F&G volunteers primarily work with guests as they first arrive on the farm. This provides a wonderful opportunity to welcome and engage new community members. Work program consists of a variety of projects in which guests learn tasks in landscaping and gardening, general house cleaning, trail clearing and land management, lawn and garden equipment maintenance, wood splitting and stacking, snow and ice removal, cider pressing, maple syrup production and more.

Garden VolunteerGardening
The volunteer position on the Garden team offers volunteers a chance to combine an interest in agricultural development with a desire to help others in a service role. This position is responsible for a variety of activities that assist in the creation and maintenance of an organic garden that provides products for community and local consumption. Volunteers assist in the day-to-day operations of the Garden team, including: seeding, planting, harvesting, equipment maintenance and repair, mowing, composting, and more. Volunteers offer ongoing orientation and coaching to guests in order to build a cohesive team.

The farm team volunteer is responsible for a variety of activities that assist in the creation and maintenance of a clean, safe, well-ordered farm and agricultural environment. Volunteers assist in the day-to-day operations of the farm including: animal husbandry, equipment operation and maintenance, dairy processing and cheese making, and other routine maintenance. Volunteers offer ongoing orientation and coaching to guests and provide leadership to work program projects in which guests learn care of animals, land management, equipment and machinery repair, dairy processing and cheese making.

Kitchen VolunteerKitchen
The Gould Farm kitchen prepares and produces the daily meals that bring people together and help encourage community values. As a member of the Kitchen team, volunteers prepare nourishing meals that reflect these values while also assisting guests in a service role. The kitchen feeds approximately 60 to 80 people, three meals per day. General responsibilities include preparation and delivery of nutritious meals, maintenance of a clean and safe work environment, and coaching guests working on the Kitchen team.

Harvest Barn Bakery
Serving as a volunteer in the Harvest Barn Bakery allows volunteers to gain experience in commercial baking while also supporting guests in a service role. The Harvest Barn work team is responsible for baking and preparing foods for sale to the public, use in the kitchen, and for wholesale and retail sales. The team processes Gould Farm products including cheese, yogurt and ice cream, as well as bottling maple syrup and baking a variety of high quality baked goods. Guests on the Harvest Barn team are encouraged to pursue independent projects with the support of volunteers and staff.

Baking in the Harvest Barn.Roadside Café
The Roadside Café & Store is a restaurant and store that provides high quality food and service in addition to selling Gould Farm products. As a Roadside team member, volunteers assist with the daily operations of the café and store including: greeting customers, preparing and serving food, and keeping the store clean and safe. A large component of working at the Roadside includes coaching and mentoring guests that may be ready for transition towards greater independence.

Learn more about all volunteer opportunities »

I loved my experience volunteering at Gould Farm so much that I decided to stay for a 2nd year! I connected on a deep level with the mission of the Farm, the guests, and with my team. During my service, I felt tremendous personal and professional growth. A big heartfelt thanks to Gould Farm! —Sherene, Residential Volunteer

Service Opportunities in Boston
Support Program in the Boston, MA Suburbs

The Fellside Program House: Boston Support Program Location

Residential Support
The Fellside Program is based in Medford, just outside Boston, MA and serves as a springboard for residents who wish to practice the skills necessary for living in an urban environment. Staff members provide support, guidance, and advocacy for clients who are well on their way to leading more independent lives. Teach daily living skills, assist in crisis management and informal counseling, provide input with treatment planning, and participate in farm activities with guests.

Hourly Position Opening
Weekend Relief Staff
Come spend one weekend per month in a beautiful, old colonial home on the outskirts of Boston. You’ll be helping guests from Gould Farm in the Berkshires get used to city life in Boston at their transitional residential program. Be part of a tight-knit team working to support people ages 18+ in building their confidence and abilities to live in their own apartments independently. This is a great opportunity to learn how to assist people in building their coping skills to manage challenges of mental illnesses. Ideal for someone preparing to go to graduate school in the behavioral health field. Applicants must be able to work one shift per month Friday 5 p.m. to Sunday 3:15 p.m., including sleeping on site. Compensation includes $14.54/awake hour and $11/asleep hour. To apply, email your resume and letter of interest to Stephanie Branca.

Perks & Rewards

The beauty of the Gould Farm campus

Benefits include a private bedroom in shared onsite staff housing with a common living room, kitchen and bath, farm-fresh meals, a generous stipend of $250 per month, fully paid health insurance (with a one year commitment), and supervision under a senior staff member. Recent graduates are generally able to defer student loans through volunteer work at Gould Farm.

The unique spirit that resides in this rural community lifestyle offers both meaningful work coupled with recreation, singing, music, crafts and a celebration of nature and life.

The Essentials

Each year, Gould Farm recruits volunteers who typically come to the Farm for one year and work in almost every area of the Farm community.

Gould Farm provides challenging opportunities for volunteers and staff members from around the world. Mature, well-rounded and people-oriented individuals who are interested in learning and living in a therapeutic community are encouraged to apply. Musical, artistic and craft-oriented talents are always appreciated.

Internships are ideal for students who desire quality work experiences before applying for graduate school or starting lifetime careers. Others choose to serve Gould Farm through religious or secular volunteer agencies as well as AmeriCorps.

I came to Gould Farm because I wanted to get social work experience before graduate school. Now in my second year as a volunteer on the residential team, I am grateful to have found much more. Ultimately, at Gould Farm I have found both a place to call home and the chance to feel a part of something much larger than myself. —Kijai, Residential Volunteer

Your First Move & Connections

Gould Farm is a therapeutic community that
promotes recovery for people with mental health and related challenges
through meaningful work, community living, and clinical care.

If you are a mature and caring individual interested in living in a therapeutic community, fill out the online volunteer application. Applications for volunteer positions are accepted year-round.

Volunteer Coordinator
Gould Farm
100 Gould Rd.
P.O. Box 157
Monterey, MA 01245-0157

(413) 528-1804, ext. 37
(413) 528-5051 fax

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