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May 2013: Mind the Gap

This month I want to give a special mention to our volunteer Rota Co-ordinators as during May I came to fully understand what an amazing job they do in filling our service delivery rotas week in and week out throughout the year. It’s a bit of an invisible role in some ways as it happens ‘behind the scenes’. They spend time for us on the phone and at their home computers at various points in the week and at random times of day and night. May is a particularly challenging month as it contains two Bank Holidays when many of our volunteers take a well earned rest from Sunday duties so the Rota Co-ordinators need to be even more encouraging, persuasive, cajoling and generally persistent than usual to fill any gaps and ensure our rotas are as full as possible – and they make a very fine job of it. So here’s to these unsung heroes – and if you want to make their life easier please book your shifts as far ahead as possible – it will give them one less call to make!

This week The Food Chain said a very sad farewell to René Fransman who died on May 15th. René began volunteering for The Food Chain 23 years ago so can truly be described as a veteran volunteer. As well as being a Lead Cook for the Kentish Town kitchen he was a committed and articulate ambassador for the charity, promoting The Food Chain at every opportunity and also supporting many fundraising activities over the years. He will be missed very much by those who worked with him and valued him as a friend too. There are many bright stars shining in The Food Chain constellation and memories of René will be up there with the best of them for many years to come.

And now to my culinary efforts. This time I decided to use ingredients I already had at home to create a dish of my own. A rummage in the freezer revealed some chicken pieces and I had a butternut squash and some lemons needing attention. My balcony garden has also sprung into action in the recent sunshine and I have herbs in abundance – rosemary, coriander, parsley and chives in this case.  The resulting Chicken with butternut squash and herby couscous turned out well and was very easy to prepare. Hope you enjoy it too.