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Our volunteers come from all different walks of life and that’s what makes the team so fantastic. For all our differences, everyone comes to FareShare Sussex with the shared goal to make a difference in their community.

Be sure to click through the page numbers below to hear from just a handful of our 150 volunteers.

If you are inspired by our volunteers’ stories, find out more about how to join our team here.

Mark

Mark is a volunteer warehouse assistant and came to us after volunteering at Lunch Positive, a community food member FareShare provides food to. His favourite thing about volunteering is meeting new people from different backgrounds and making new friends.

I haven’t had it easy being mixed race, brought up in care and gay, I’m proud of making it to 61 laughing all the way. I feel proud of what I do here – I’m learning all the time, finding out different things.

The variety of projects is fascinating and meeting the people on the receiving end of this food brings me joy.

Freya

Freya came to FareShare through our employment programme FareShare Futures. Having been out of work, she saw this opportunity at the Job Centre.

After successfully finishing the programme, Freya decided to stay on as a volunteer. She has been helping in the warehouse since March coming in three days a week. It has helped her to get back in a routine and to stay fit. Her favourite thing at FareShare is the chance of meeting other people and seeing the vast impact the work has on the community.

The funniest thing was seeing all the excitement of the staff when we got a delivery of garlic. It’s something they don’t see delivered often, I guess.

In the future, Freya would like to get back into gardening, she is a trained horticulturist. FareShare is offering her support in writing her applications and has improved her prospects for employment. When Freya is not busy volunteering or writing applications she loves walking her dog, gardening or enjoying her favourite food Steak, Chips and asparagus.

Calvin

I volunteer here at FareShare Sussex because I love how we distribute surplus food to people who need it. I’ve been volunteering here for four years now. I really like it. Over time I’ve made lots of friends. There have been lots of changes here – in a good way! I remember when we had lots of little fridges. Now we have one big one. It’s much easier!

When I’m not here I do other things like help at the Oxfam Book Shop. At the moment I live in Hollingdean in supported accommodation, I love the independence this gives me. Big news for me is that I have passed my driving test and now drive myself into FareShare Sussex. Volunteering here has given me more opportunities and skills than I ever thought I’d achieve – things like social interaction are important to me. I have a great sense of humour and I enjoy sharing it with everyone here. I feel very supported.

Mel

After completing a property development with my husband in 2016, I was looking for a way of giving back to the community. I have always been very interested in food and appalled by food waste and  food poverty. A google search with those key: words brought me to FareShare Sussex.

4 years later and I am still very happily volunteering at FareShare two days a week and have seen Fareshare grow from strength to strength.

Prior to the Covid pandemic, once a week  I was driving a van around the county delivering food to a range of projects from lunch clubs for homeless people, to after school clubs and residential projects. I also carried out food safety compliance checks at our projects. Covid restrictions prevent us from entering kitchens so instead I have been kept very busy driving the van to West Sussex to collect food from one of our suppliers.  I enjoy the interaction with the projects and seeing where the food ends up.

It’s often a hectic and busy working environment and I certainly don’t need to go to the gym on the days I volunteer as it’s hard physical work,  but I’m always surrounded by friendly staff and volunteers, a bit of banter, and lunch cooked by one of volunteer chefs when I get back to the warehouse tired and hungry.