Becoming a Volunteer
Our volunteers are invaluable to us as they help to deliver our services. The process for becoming a volunteer with The Food Chain is as follows:
- Check our Current Volunteer Vacancies page to find a role you are interested in.
- Complete our online application form.You'll need to supply the names and email addresses of two people who can provide a reference for you. They can be friends but not family members.
- Once we have received two satisfactory references you'll be invited to the next Volunteer Induction Evening. Induction Evenings are held in the last week of every month.
- After Induction, you'll need to complete our online Food Hygiene Quiz and attend two training sessions: Kitchen Skills and Health and Safety and Service User Support Training.
- You're ready to complete your first Volunteer Shift!
The Food Chain Volunteer Induction is a chance for you to find out more about The Food Chain and the role for which you applied, meet other volunteers and ask any questions. Induction will also cover some basic HIV awareness training – designed to be fun and informative.
''I wasn't looking forward to the Induction last night as most of these types of session are, to use a technical term, a load of rubbish! But it was informative and engaging. Well done.'' Induction attendee 2012.
"There was a comprehensive overview of the charity and the various volunteer roles and the supporting Volunteer Handbook is really useful." Induction Attendee October 2014.
All Kitchen Assistants, Hosts and Lead Cooks and any other kitchen based volunteers need to attend Kitchen Skills and Health and Safety training and Service User Support training. All Dietetic and Office Volunteers need to attend Service User Support training. Kitchen Skills and Health and Safety is a two hour session on the first Tuesday of every month and Service User Support training is a two hour session on the first Thursday of every month.
Ideally, you'll attend both sessions the week following your Induction.
Other roles may require in office training e.g. Rota Coordinator.
"The kitchen tour made me feel less nervous about my first shift. Now I know whre everything is!" Kitchen Skills and Health and Safety Attendee December 2014.
"The training was well presented, the pace was excellent and it was informative and well structured with a mix of group work and activites." Service User Support training attendee August 2014.
Whatever role you do you will be supervised either by a member of staff or another volunteer. Fran, our Training and Volunteer Coordinator, is always on hand to help and deal with any questions or concerns. Eating Positively and Eating Together Volunteers also have their Rota Coordinator to defer to as well.
There are opportunities to progress in volunteering roles. For example, you could start off as a Kitchen Assistant and then undertake training to become a Lead Cook. You are not limited to one role and many of our volunteers volunteer in more than one role e.g. some of our Dietetic Support volunteers also volunteer as Kitchen Assistants at Eating Positively. There are opportunities to get involved with our Finance or Events committees as vacancies arise
Our FAQs page has some questions frequently asked by volunteers which you may find helpful.