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Harriet - Dietetic Support Volunteer

"I have learnt so much from the staff, the service users and the charity. "

It was whilst cooking meals for children working as a Child Carer that Harriet unlocked her interest in Nutrition.  Now in her final year of a Human Nutrition degree at the University of Westminster, Harriet started volunteering at The Food Chain to gain some experience to enhance her studies.

Harriet volunteers in the office every Friday as a Dietetic Support Volunteer. To her caseload of service users, Harriet is The Food Chain as she’s the person they speak to on a regular basis.

‘In a typical shift as a Dietetic Support Volunteer I call all the service users in my caseload and place food orders that get delivered to their homes or wherever they are staying. The food in the deliveries has been specially selected by the dietitian at The Food Chain to improve their health. Some people need more personalised care than others; they might have other health issues such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease or gastro intestinal problems that mean I’ll add or take out certain foods. With supervision from the dieitian I am able to put my classroom based education into practical advice, which is very interesting and exciting for me!'

‘I have developed a really lovely rapport with some service users and I really look forward to asking them how their week has been and they always ask me the same in return. Someone even told me I was “an angel from heaven” which made my week!  The office staff are such a great bunch of individuals, they have supported me with my university work and self-development, even helping me with paper critiques and my dissertation that has improved my grades at university.’

‘I have learnt so much from the staff, the service users and the charity. My clinical nutrition education and skills have massively improved. There is nothing negative at all about volunteering at the food chain, well except the fact that I leave work every week with a slightly stiff tummy from laughing so much!