A Student Volunteering Week Special! Here’s one of five fantastic blogs that we’re posting this week to celebrate Student Volunteering week. This one is from one of your Student Volunteering Ambassadors, Arya, and their experience volunteering for FoodCycle.
I believe that no one should go hungry. It was that belief that spurred me to dabble in food waste based volunteering in Birmingham last year. Having thoroughly enjoyed my experience there, I wanted to work with FoodCycle as a friend had told me about the amazing work that they did. I was lucky enough to discover that LSE has its very own FoodCycle society and pranced upon the opportunity to do so.
I was volunteering with the hosting team and was responsible for welcoming guests, erving them their meals and cleaning up after. There was even the opportunity to dine and interact with the guests, something which I thought made this volunteering opportunity unique. FoodCycle’s project with LSE works with The Food Chain to provide a three course meal every Sunday for people living with HIV. The freedom of having a safe space and meeting some of their friends over a warm meal and a nice cup of tea was something some of the guests really looked forward to every week which we got to be a part of.
FoodCycle works only with surplus food collected from supermarkets. The dishes made by the cooking team were not only a feast for the eyes, but also for the palate. The grape tart was a huge hit with the guests, who were heading back for seconds. I thought it was incredible that the cooking team were able to come up with a menu based on the produce that they got; seems to me like a real-life Masterchef situation that I would definitely like to be a part of when I volunteer next.
My experience volunteering with FoodCycle would not have been as enjoyable as it was if not for the wonderful people I was working with on the hosting team. The dish washer had suddenly frozen on us and we were all trying to get it working. Having that little struggle brought us closer together as we each fervently tried to fix the chunk of metal. I guess you could say that malfunctioning dishwasher brought me three new friends and strengthened my can-do attitude. Volunteering gives you so much in return: new friends, experiences, skills, that warm glow you get when you know you did something good, just for giving up a little of your time. I would rather be feeding someone than scrolling through Instagram aimlessly, what about you?
If this has inspired you to volunteer, check out one of our other 200+ ongoing opportunities or book a one-to-one with David Coles, the Volunteer Centre Manager if you have more questions. If you are short on time, then take a look at the one-off opportunities taking place in Lent Term organised by the LSE Volunteer Centre. And why not follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up-to-date with our events and opportunities and read our blog for more volunteering tips and stories.