17 January 2018
Margaret started volunteering in our London warehouse in January 2010 when she retired. Five years later, our volunteer looks back over her volunteering experience at FareShare.
“Volunteering ‘shakes you out of your nest’” says Margaret,* “it gets you out of your comfort zone.” Margaret retired in 2010 and for the past five years has spent one day a week volunteering at our lively London warehouse.
During her volunteering shifts, Margaret helps to sort all the top-quality fresh food received into the warehouse and goes out on the road with our volunteer drivers to deliver this much needed surplus food to some of the 223 charities FareShare London supports. She says, “I love van runs because you meet a lot of people and discover parts of London you’ve never been to. The best thing is you get to see the end product, people who benefit from the food you save from going to waste.”
It all started when Margaret’s daughter listened to a piece about surplus food on the radio and decided to volunteer for FareShare London one evening a week for a few months. When Margaret heard about it, she decided to do the same as her daughter because she “thought surplus food was dreadful and FareShare was a very good cause to volunteer for.”
The fact that volunteering for FareShare can be flexible, and can fit around other commitments was a big draw for Margaret. She says, “I didn’t want to be tied up to coming in every Wednesday to open a shop for example. As I am away in Wales one month on and one month off, I wanted to work in an organisation that would allow me to be flexible and yet offered an experience that had a certain continuity.
“Besides, I needed change in my life and coming to FareShare has been thought provoking. It’s diverse as there are various things to do and it changes every day, no day is the same and that’s very stimulating.”
As well as doing something active and feeling that she’s making a tangible difference to her local community, being part of a diverse team of volunteers is what keeps Margaret coming back. “There’s a mix of social backgrounds and I enjoy the variety and the cross-section of society and ages. It’s invigorating meeting people of all ages and walks of life in the warehouse, you are always learning” she says. “Being constantly in the company of people means you are never lonely and hopefully refine and grow your interpersonal skills.
“I have laughed a lot over my five years volunteering at FareShare. Everybody has a good sense of humour and can take a joke and can laugh at themselves. My fellow volunteers are as approachable as the FareShare London’s staff members, who are always positive, supportive and attentive to our needs.”
Feeling inspired? If you too want to help your local community and meet new people, select your regional centre and register your interest in volunteering here.
(*) We changed the name of our volunteer as she wishes to stay anonymous.