The heart of a volunteer is not measured in size but by the depth of the commitment to make a difference in the lives of others.
I'm Mike, the Centre Manager and within my role, I manage around 70 volunteers who are mainly responsible for putting together food packs for our clients.
Our volunteers are very much at the heart of everything we do. Without their hours of support, we simply could not provide such a vital service to our clients. Across the charity, we have around 120 volunteers. Compare that to the 9 members of staff we have and you can quite quickly understand just how crucial our volunteers are.
Our food bank volunteers work across 4 core areas:
- Stores – adding tinned and dried goods to our client’s food packs.
- Fresh – adding fresh produce to our client’s food packs.
- Distribution – putting food packs into crates and sorting them into collection and delivery loading areas.
- Telephones – taking referrals for food packs from support services within Kirklees
Within each area, we work closely with volunteers to ensure they are well trained, with a real focus on understanding the circumstances that many of our clients face. For those responsible for putting together food packs, it’s very much like doing a weekly shop at the supermarket. Our volunteers are given a shopping list to follow, which is selected based on the requirements specified at the referral stage.
In addition to food bank volunteers, we also have volunteer roles which cover
- Advice, Guidance and Support - welcoming clients, signposting them on to additional services and arranging support sessions
- Warehouse - receiving donations of goods directly from members of the public and other supporters, sorting incoming donations through our stock system, and assisting our drivers to load and unload vehicles
- Drivers - work in pairs to collect surplus donations from local businesses and transport stock between our warehouse and main office
Managing our team of volunteers is the best part of my job role at the centre as I get to work with so many people. There’s never a quiet moment with having so many people on board, each with their own interests and reasons for supporting us. We very much want volunteering to be a social experience with many of our volunteers forming new friendships and discovering new activities through the people they have met at The Welcome Centre.
I started volunteering as a driver with the Welcome Centre ten years ago because after a lifetime of working behind a desk and volunteering on committees I wanted to do something active and hands-on.
The Welcome Centre staff and volunteers are one of the best teams I have ever worked with and it is a real pleasure to go in every week and help make a positive difference in other people's lives.
Michael - driver for The Welcome Centre
We’re always on the lookout for new people to join our team of volunteers.
As the demands on our service reach new levels, we need to expand our team. If you want to try something new, learn new skills and meet new people, have a look at our volunteering page and fill in an application form. We’d love to hear from you and welcome you to our team.
If you volunteer at the Welcome Centre you will meet and work with some really lovely people. If that wasn't enough, you'll also know that you are doing something very worthwhile to help people in need (even if you wish that this work shouldn't be necessary)