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Volunteering roles

Thank you for offering to volunteer your time and energy to support National Food Service London. Welcome to the family!

Here, you will find a brief overview of each of our volunteer roles, to give you a taste of what they’re about and what you can expect. I’ve also included a little information about our working groups.

As a collaborative, inclusive organisation, we follow a flexible structure, which means that you are welcome to work in multiple roles and in multiple working groups (if you want to, of course). We make decisions using a consensus-based approach: your voice matters, whatever capacity you are involved.

We offer both onsite and remote volunteering opportunities. Our onsite operations currently take place at a community centre in Hackney, Springfield ward.

Please let us know if you have any skills or experience you would like to develop or contribute. We are here to support you.

Apply to volunteer

Site accessibility

The building is wheelchair accessible. Our operations are on the second floor, however there is a lift to the second floor and a ground floor access toilet. The doors are fire doors and heavy to push open, we can make arrangements to make these easier to navigate.

We welcome volunteers of all abilities, ages, backgrounds and identities. We are working to cultivate an environment that confronts the unequal, harmful structures in our society. We practice anti-racism, anti-ableism, decolonisation and intersectional feminism. We are women and queer-led. If you need additional support to feel welcome joining our project or have any experiences that make you feel less than welcome with us, please contact volunteer@nationalfoodservicelondon.org.uk.

  • Chefs

    Onsite. Fridays, 9am-3pm.

    Our chefs are responsible for fulfilling the food orders in our system. Chefs cook and prepare batches of vegan and vegetarian meals, appropriately portioning and storing them so they are ready for packaging and deliveries. Most of our chefs have some commercial kitchen experience and a minimum of a Level 2 Food Hygiene certificate. As an organisation, we are committed to removing barriers and supporting people in their personal development. On that note, we are happy to take on people with less experience as chefs, as long as they are committed to learning, training, and gaining a food hygiene certificate. Please let us know where you’re at, and we can chat further about the next steps, as we might be able to pay for your certification. A passion for food waste, food justice and community welfare are also ideal.

  • Community Deliveries

    Onsite/in community. Saturdays, 12pm-3.30pm (flexible)

    As an organisation, we currently have two primary points of contact with our community: via our hotline, and through our community deliveries. In addition to making deliveries, this role is about outreach and keeping in touch with members of our community who would otherwise be quite isolated. This part of the role is touching and rewarding. This is also quite an active role, as we deliver food and groceries within a 2-mile radius, either by bike or on foot, and occasionally where appropriate by car. Safeguarding is an important part of this role, so we provide safeguarding awareness training, and pay for volunteer DBS checks. This role is fulfilling, a great way to get some exercise and connect with your community.

  • Food Handlers

    Onsite. Friday 10am-4pm.

    Our trusty food handlers are a chef’s right hand. Food handler volunteers like to roll up their sleeves and get stuck into peeling, chopping, dicing and washing ingredients and assisting chefs with cooking where necessary. They are responsible for boxing up and labelling meals, ensuring they are stored safely and ready to be sent out to eager patrons. This is a versatile and fulfilling role where you might help keep an eye on our stock levels, sort through donations or whip up a tasty dessert! Confidence in the kitchen is a plus, but by no means essential. If you enjoy working with food, or perhaps would like to gain more confidence and experience in helping cook for large numbers in the kitchen, then you will feel right at home with food handlers.

  • Patron Services

    Onsite. Saturdays, 10am-4pm

    Patron services is a bit like ground control. Our patron service volunteers monitor and direct our daily onsite operations. A core part of this is accepting and organising orders for meals and groceries, and preparing them for delivery. They also plot out delivery routes. Our patron service volunteers liaise with kitchen volunteers and community delivery volunteers. In that sense, they are at the operational heart of the organisation. If you enjoy puzzles and problem solving, patron services is for you!

  • Hotline

    Remote. Monday - Friday, 10am-3pm (super flexible - happy to work around your schedule)

    In a sense, our operations start with our hotline, as members of our community reach out to us and self refer to the service. Alongside community deliveries, our hotline is a primary point of contact with our community. In addition to taking food orders, we also have regular calls focussed on listening and conversation. Our hotline volunteers connect, empower and listen to the people who reach out to us. This role is really rewarding and important. Safeguarding is a key component: our hotline team is particularly supportive and will guide you through a structured training process. It’s a great way to work on your communication and telephone skills.  It’s a remote and flexible role, so we welcome you to get involved, even while shielding or isolating. 

Coordinating

If you are interested in contributing or developing administrative and organisation skills, then coordinating is a great opportunity. Our coordinators are responsible for providing administrative support across the organisation. At present we have two main coordinator roles: volunteer coordinators and operations coordinators. As shifts are short and flexible, we’re happy for people to volunteer across the two teams. Tasks include daily communications between teams, maintaining our orders system, helping to sort out volunteer rotas, policies, stock management, setting up systems, connecting with local support services and taking meal orders.

These roles are great for people who want to develop organisation and communication skills. They’re also remote-friendly, which means they people can get involved while shielding or isolating.

  • Volunteer Coordinator

    Remote and very flexible

    Working as part of a team who screen and onboard new volunteers and help to ensure the rota is filled each week. You will work closely with other members of our volunteer support team on volunteer wellbeing schemes, removing barriers to participation and more. Shifts are flexible in duration, level of commitment and can be undertaken any day of the week. Ideally, we are looking for volunteers that would be happy to commit half a day a week. 

  • Operations Coordinator

    Remote and flexible

    These are 2-hour shifts to set up the daily operations for the following day. This involves briefing the volunteers due in on the tasks that need to be completed, reviewing all the orders and ensuring everyone's dietary requirements are catered for, updating the map for the packing and delivery team. These tasks typically take two hours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (late afternoon or evening) and 1 hour on Monday mornings and Thursday (late afternoon or evening). Ideally we are looking for volunteers that would be happy to commit to one or two 2-hour shifts per week.