Meet our Volunteer Social Media Ambassador – Jane’s story

8 October 2018

Jane lives too far from a FareShare Regional Centre to volunteer regularly in the warehouse, so she signed up to be a Volunteer Social Media Ambassador, which she can do from home.

Jane prefers more hands on volunteering, for example sorting food and preparing orders for charities in the FareShare London warehouse. But she lives too far away to make the trip regularly. She still helps out as much as she can, but she wanted to do more from home. Luckily, there are many ways you can help FareShare fight hunger and food waste - and to be our Social Media Ambassador, you do not even need to leave the house. Jane told us more about her motivation to give her time to FareShare.

How did you get involved with FareShare?

I am retired and have time in a way that was not possible when I was working. Although there are opportunities when you’re employed too - I did the Tesco Food Collection at Christmas last year in the local Tesco, along with people who worked in Tesco offices. Some people who work full time can do charity work too. Tesco supported us and allowed a group of staff to spend one Friday afternoon collecting food for food banks for Christmas. They were fun to be with, they were happy to have time out of the office.

Why were you interested in volunteering?

I did meet a young lady when I was at work, let’s call her Susie, who was an apprentice at my organisation.  She was very keen to work, and very interesting, though sometimes she asked questions that we felt she should have known the answer for. But she wanted to work and learn; and the super boss, whom we all admired and adored, read Animal Farm to her, a couple of chapters to get her going reading the book. One day she casually mentioned about the snack lunch that she and her brother had every day in the school holidays was one tin of baked beans between them, spread on one slice of bread. I was shocked at the poverty that this represented. Now I understood why the super boss wanted to read to her to make up for some of the parenting that she so clearly missed. I know nothing more about her circumstances, other than that she was ‘making good’ and making up for her childhood. And I think that FareShare will do a lot for children in Susie’s position. And that is why I want to volunteer.

What do you do as a Social Media Ambassador for FareShare?

I receive a weekly email with some latest news and suggested messages that I can post on my Facebook and Twitter accounts. It only takes a few minutes to share – and I feel like I have done something to help the cause. I don’t have an Instagram, but who knows - I am always learning new things as the emails also provide some tips on how to use social media.

Why is FareShare’s mission important to you?

I have always been keen to avoid waste, potato and carrot peelings have to be thin, I could get every last bit of marmalade out of the bottom of the empty jar, even more than my father-in-law.  I will freeze food, as appropriate, or make a soup to use up spare vegetables, and then freeze that. I use paper that has been printed on one side for notes or for shopping lists, or to print something else. Don’t you? And if you do, then we are like minded.

I understand that manufacturing has lots of waste; I did myself when I used to sew, there was often a lot of material left over, which I used to make patchwork cushion covers, and used the scraps for stuffing. And I knit hats scarves and gloves for homeless people from leftover yarn. There is a lot of waste when you make something, but when it is food, it is clearly necessary that the food should not be wasted, but go to people in need. There are hungry adults and children all over the UK.

The food FareShare provides is more than meals: it helps "hook" people back into society. The charities feeding people are also helping them with the challenges they are facing, whatever they may be.

That is why I am volunteering for FareShare. It is such a brilliant idea. Using 'spare' food well. Benefiting those who need it, who can get good meals at local charities.

If you would like to help as a Social Media Ambassador like Jane, sign up to volunteer at www.fareshare.org.uk/volunteer