FoodCycle, the charity that aims to make food poverty, loneliness and food waste a thing of the past for every community, is in urgent need of volunteers. This month, FoodCycle will invest in a national recruitment campaign to try to entice more people to join them.
While volunteer roles are open to anyone who has some time to spare, the current drive will particularly target retired members of the community.
Becca Ketley, South East Regional Manager explains why:
“Only around 3% of our FoodCycle volunteers are retired yet we’ve found with the combination of more time at their disposal and a wealth of skills and experience, many of our retirees have become key to the successful running of our Projects. Volunteering with FoodCycle gives our volunteers the chance to help strengthen communities and also boosts self-confidence, offers new skills and connects them with people from all ages and backgrounds. ”
Serving up free weekly community meals using food that would otherwise have gone to waste, this vital service relies on its volunteers to provide nutritious food and conversation across the UK.
When asked what motivates them to show up, 45% FoodCycle volunteers chose nourishing the hungry as their top motivator; other reasons included supporting the mental health and wellbeing of guests, help connect communities and to promote sustainability by creating nutritious meals from surplus food.
Anne Fleissig, a retired researcher who has been volunteering at FoodCycle Islington since 2016 says;
“You learn new skills all the time at FoodCycle simply by cooking together and absorbing ideas. I must have gotten more confidence since I started volunteering, because in my past life I would shy away from leading as I’m indecisive but here I’ve learned that I can lead. I’m usually a planner but with FoodCycle you are forced to think on your feet. It also just helps me so much to be with people that are lonely and feel like you are contributing something. ”
FoodCycle’s free community meals are open to all, and guests range from low-income families, people affected by homelessness and those who can not afford to buy food. No questions asked, you can just turn up and take a seat.
Without volunteers, Foodcycle cannot provide a vital service to the community who have come to rely on the chance to sit down to a free, three-course meal every week.
To sign up as a volunteer or for more information on FoodCycle visit http://www.foodcycle.org.uk/