With core volunteers forming the basis of our service, we then work with groups who would like to volunteer on a one-off/semi-regular basis. This supplements our volunteer numbers so that our core volunteers are not run off their feet every week and giving them opportunities to induct and supervise new volunteers. It also makes them able to carry out their roles under less pressure, whilst exposing new groups of people to the food bank environment, in the hope that they become more informed on the issues in their local area, which may motivate them to help us or another community organisation further.
Overall, bringing in groups, largely from locally based businesses, adds a new dimension to the food bank and creates an even more positive atmosphere in which to work and access support.
As well as this, we look to utilise the professional skills that these groups often bring with them, so we are able to organise problem-solving groups where a certain aspect or problem associated with running the food bank is explored and potential solutions discussed. These have often proven popular both with groups and the food bank, as it provides a different way for professionals to volunteer whilst giving some much-needed expertise and new thinking to the food bank.