Volunteering with Food Train
3 April 2017
Recently, two members of staff from Volunteer Scotland volunteered at local charity Food Train.
Volunteer Scotland, like many other organsations, offer an ESV programme, which allows staff volunteering leave. The Volunteer Scotland receptionists, Gemma and Christine, decided to use their days to volunteer for a local charity, Food Train.
Food Train is a grocery shopping, befriending and household support service for older people assisting and enabling them to live at home independently for as long as they are able.
The preventative services address the difficulty older people face getting their weekly grocery shopping, doing jobs around the house and the growing isolation that comes with failing health.
Christine said, "I didn’t quite know what to expect on my first day volunteering. I arrived at the Food Train office and was welcomed by the lovely Fran and Annemarie.
I instantly knew from their warm and friendly welcome that I was going to enjoy my time volunteering with Food Train.
Annemarie told me I would be helping the volunteer driver to deliver roughly a dozen deliveries around Stirling. First of all we stopped at the local supermarket where volunteers had previously done all the shopping from the lists they had been given from the clients. We would be delivering them to the customers and collecting the money including a small delivery charge.
Annemarie had previously explained to me that many customers on our list can’t leave their home and for some elderly people we are the only visitors they might see for days.
I quickly realised that this is more than just delivering shopping. This is showing an interest in the customer and asking how they are and passing the time of day by having a friendly chat whilst unpacking their shopping.
I would recommend volunteering with Food Train to anyone. It’s really enjoyable and very rewarding. So if you haven’t volunteered before, try it!"
Gemma was paired with volunteer driver Ian. "Ian was a lovely gentleman who made me feel at ease straight away on my first day. I was all set to go out and visit the elderly and assist them with their shopping lists. We were going to be covering the Bridge of Allan and Dunblane areas.
Some had weekly visits and others were every two weeks. Every individual I met warmed my heart, they all had their stories to share and were so pleased to welcome myself and Ian into their home.
Ian had built up a good relationship with all his customers, he was now more of a friend and they seemed very thankful of his visits.
Once we had collected all the lists and double checked that we had taken down the right details, we headed back to the office so they could then arrange a supermarket visit and place their orders.
My first day of volunteering was a huge success, I was delighted to have helped out and couldn’t wait to volunteer with the Food Train again."
If you want to find out more about how you can volunteer at your local Food Train head to their website for more information or search for opportunities on our website here.