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Volunteers are the life blood of foodbanks. Your skills could be just what we need.

Volunteers are the driving force behind foodbanks. There are thousands of volunteers across the UK, helping The Trussell Trust Foodbank Network get emergency food to people in crisis. We want you to enjoy volunteering and there are lots of ways to get involved. Whatever role you choose, you will make a real difference to the life of someone in crisis.  If you volunteer for the warehouse or foodbank centre though, you do need to be aware that sometimes we are very busy, and sometimes we are very quiet, so there can be lots to do – or not very much.  You need to be someone who doesn’t get frustrated on our quiet weeks, and can also cope with the more hectic ones.

Currently we have four teams of volunteers and work on a fortnightly rotation, so most volunteers come one Tuesday or Friday in two, though some come each Tuesday or Friday.  We like people to have a go at each role in the Foodbank to find out how the whole system works (though if someone really doesn’t want to or can’t try any role, we do accept that and don’t force it), and they then usually settle into ‘doing’ either the warehouse or ‘face-to-face’.

Warehouse volunteer

Food has to be to weighed in, dated, sorted and stored until it’s needed by clients, then selected, weighed out and packed when clients come.  We also sometimes need people to collect the food from the collection points in town or deliver to clients who cannot come to our sessions.

‘Face to face’ volunteer

Volunteers meet clients, find out what they need, offer refreshments and look after them until their food bags are ready, having an informal chat with them over a cup of tea to discuss their situation if they want to, and signpost to further support where appropriate.

Other ways to volunteer

When we are open, it is sometimes useful to have someone to operate the telephones or deal with extra admin, so if you apply to be a volunteer, do mention if you’d like to help in that way.

As well as needing food, it takes money to operate a Food Bank, for example, to pay our ‘overheads’ and to buy items when we don’t have enough donated.  We have a fundraising team who meet when necessary to plan events.  If you would like to be involved, or would like to host or run a fundraising event for us, we’d love to hear from you!

We also have a board of trustees so are sometimes looking for people who would be willing to be involved in this way.  We expect to be looking for one or two new trustees at the start of 2025, so if you think you might be interested in being a trustee, please get in touch either via the ‘contact us’ page or by emailing [email protected].

If you are interested in volunteering in any way, please get in touch either via the ‘contact us’ page or by emailing [email protected].  We’d love to hear from you, but please be patient if you don’t hear back from us immediately; it doesn’t mean we are not grateful, just that we are very busy!

If you would like to volunteer but don’t think the Foodbank is quite for you, or our hours don’t suit you, the St. John’s Centre is usually looking for volunteers, so give them a ring (01874 611723 option 1) or call in and have a chat.

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