24 June 2017
In honour of Armed Forces Day, we want to highlight Andy, a volunteer driver who served in the Armed Forces for 22 years.
Andy is a volunteer driver at FareShare Yorkshire, where he started about a year ago.
“I come in Wednesdays Mornings and then deliver food to charities within Leeds, and to a few in outlying areas,” Andy says.
He heard about FareShare while watching television.
“Having been made redundant at my job last year, I was looking for something to do and a charity to volunteer with,” Andy says. “And I enjoy driving. In the army, my background was in logistics so I could use my skills to contribute to FareShare.”
Andy joined the army as a musician in 1978. He played the drums in military bands for 6 years, but after militia defence cuts, moved to a maritime section, where he transferred equipment from ships and landing crafts onto beaches and small harbours. His unit worked all over the world, in Bosnia, Sierra Leone, and Belize.
Today, Andy travels with the Yorkshire Volunteers Band, which is a part of the Yorkshire Volunteers Regimental Association. He just came back from France, where he played the drums in a parade.
And he still gets to transfer important goods – good quality surplus food that would otherwise go to waste, but instead goes to vulnerable people in need.
“Driving and delivering food combines both my passions and aptitudes,” he says. “Plus, it’s a real shame that so much food is produced and just gets thrown into landfills. It’s really great that FareShare gets food to charities and to people who really need it.”
Andy recommends volunteering to those looking to give back:
“You get a lot of satisfaction when you turn up to the charities,” Andy says. “People are glad to see you, and you know that you’re making a difference to the people that you’re delivering to.”