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City Harvest Celebrates Volunteers Week

Time spent at City Harvest changes lives & helps save the planet

We love our volunteers #nationalvolunteersweek

We look forward to having our corporate teams back once lockdown lifts.

City Harvest has been able to deliver over 10 million meals due in huge part to our incredible volunteer force. Our volunteers come from all walks of life and pitch in together to ensure that all Londoners have access to nutritious and filling meals.

Corporate Volunteering During Covid-19

In light of social distancing and staying safe, volunteering, like most things, has changed a little. We are not currently able to accommodate large groups of corporate volunteers - but individuals from our corporate partners can register their interest below.

How it Works When You Get Here

A big part of our volunteer programme has been our Corporate volunteering, through which individuals and teams from our corporate partners can come down to the depot for the chance to make a direct positive impact on thousands of vulnerable people in London. The time they donate to City Harvest ensures that many Londoner’s facing obstacles such as homelessness, food poverty, and/or domestic abuse have access to a nutritious meal.​

Skills Based Volunteering - Furlough Volunteering options

We are always looking for great photographers/ film makers/ SEO experts/ digital marketing whizz kids/ copy writers. If you are furloughed and have time to spare and skills to share - please let us know!

“The Green Finance Institute would like to say an enormous THANK YOU to the entire team for welcoming us into your fantastic organisation last Wednesday!

 

We were incredibly honoured to support the amazing work that City Harvest performs every single day. Our heartfelt thanks go out to everyone for making us feel part of the team and guiding our enthusiasm towards a positive end (sorting the crisps and sauce sachets were particular triumphs!).

 

It was eye-opening to see the amount of food waste our existing system generates, as well as the profound food inequality in the UK today. We all commented on our renewed drive to tackle this challenge as part of our day-to-day work at the GFI.”  Emma Harvey, The Green Finance Institute

Benefits of Corporate Volunteering

Not only are corporate volunteers hugely beneficial to our operation, but corporate volunteering also has huge benefits for employers. Employees who volunteer are, on average, more engaged and productive than their counterparts. Group volunteering strengthens team dynamics and improves communication.

Our corporate partners take sustainability and community health very seriously and their volunteering is just another way that they show their values. City Harvest is proud to be data driven which means we can quantify volunteer impact for our Corporate partners and create compelling reports to energise staff and clients, both current and perspective.

“The team were so welcoming and what a lovely bunch of volunteers you have. We all had a great day helping out and have all left with a new sense of wonderment at what you guys achieve there.” Innocent Volunteer Gareth

Sustainable Development Goals

By choosing to volunteer with City Harvest, companies are helping to support us in tackling 8 out of 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

“Thank you for the opportunity, Francesca! It was an illuminating experience helping out in the warehouse and on the van route. Your team are amazing, doing essential work, and I look forward to helping out whenever I can.”

Google volunteer - Paul

Long Standing Independent Volunteers

We have regular volunteers that come as little as once a month or 3 times a week and are all equally part of the City Harvest family.

Kate (far left) - has been volunteering at the Acton depot for 18 months

Kate shares her experience of volunteering at City Harvest,

"The moment you walk into the warehouse at City Harvest you are immediately aware of what a hugely positive impact it has on the lives of literally thousands of Londoners and of the sheer volume of fantastically good quality food they handle. I have been fortunate never to have struggled to feed my family, no one should, but many people are working around the clock and still going hungry. Demand for the service City Harvest provides has soared in the last year.

Even though City Harvest is a busy operation it finds time to feel more like a family; staff and volunteers with a strong common goal, working together to feed people and prevent good food going to waste. Being in the warehouse gives you a sense of a hardworking, caring community, there are volunteers from all walks of life and without exception everyone supports each other, sharing advice and experience.

The charities City Harvest work with benefit in far more ways than providing people with a meal, free food means money can be spent on other services, often life changing. Learning about how these charities support their communities has been fascinating and often humbling.

I have found my time at City Harvest over the last 18 months enormously rewarding, it really is a community of people supporting each other and their fellow Londoners, a very good way to spend some time and have some fun!”

This Week's Testament to Volunteering with City Harvest

Our chairman, Steve organised a weekly donation of 2 cases of eggs from Noble Food, the biggest egg/chicken company in the country. When this began we had two lovely Noble guys that would rock up in their pick-up trucks after they had been to Buckingham Palace to drop off Lizzie’s eggs and would always stay for a chat and coffee.

Fast forward to Covid - Lizzie no longer required her eggs as she moved to Windsor but our donation kept coming. It was delivered without fail every week in an 18 wheeler mega truck and it has become a running comedy sketch. Every time the driver, Ashley, opened the back of the mega truck, there were our two cases of eggs all by themselves. Ashley, just as lovely as the previous drivers would chat to everyone in the yard.

This is where the story gets really good - Ashley emailed last week to say he has to take a weeks holiday from the 8th of June, and asked if it would be OK to find somewhere local to stay and volunteer with City Harvest.

Of course our answer was, "Absolutely!" but asked, why after working all through Covid-19 and driving everyday from Lincoln, he didn't want to rest? His reply was exactly this,

 

"City Harvest is my favourite part of my week, to meet a bunch of people who are so upbeat and down to earth is really refreshing to me and to be around such good people has been like a quick bit of therapy when living on your own through this."​

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