How did you get involved with FareShare South West?
“I’d been staying with Chandos House, a treatment centre in Bristol helping people battling addiction, and they recommended I volunteer as part of my recovery. I looked into available opportunities in the area and FareShare South West seemed to offer the best experience. I’m an active person and like to keep busy and try new things – and since no two days at FareShare South West are the same, I knew it would be right up my street!
Since then, I’ve never looked back. I cannot speak more highly of FareShare and how volunteering has helped me and so many others.”
What does your role as Driver’s Assistant see you get up to?
“Helping out on deliveries is great for early risers as I usually get in around 8am. I help the drivers and warehouse assistants by gathering food for deliveries and then loading the van. Once the van is full and ready to go, we drive out and visit our charity food members, unloading designed trays of food to each charity. It’s a great part of the experience, as we get to meet the people who eat the food and you develop good friendships with a lot of them. Charities range from homeless hostels to women’s refuges, school breakfast clubs and rehab centres, so you meet all manner of people – and no matter who they are or where they’re from, everyone is grateful to receive the food.
It’s really flexible too, so other days I will help out in the warehouse, helping to sort and unload deliveries, as well as organise food orders for charities and community groups.”
Describe your volunteering experience at FareShare South West.
“I absolutely love it. FareShare is a great cause, it’s fun and I’ve never known them to turn anyone away. They welcome people from all walks of life, and because of that inclusive approach the team is really diverse and everyone is accepted. I’ve not just gained work experience and knowledge of the food industry, I’ve been able to engage and make connections with so many different people.
“I’ve even encouraged other people to do it, so through me they’ve managed to recruit even more volunteers!
“It genuinely ticks all the boxes and has been an important part of my recovery. I don’t ever want to stop helping out at FareShare.”
What’s been your highlight moment so far?
“I have to say, my highlight so far was being voted Volunteer of the Month in June. It was totally unexpected! I was just happy to have the opportunity to help out and give back, so to be recognised was a real honour. My friends and Mum were really proud of me.”
If you like the sound of being a driver’s assistant like Steve, sign up to volunteer at www.faresharesouthwest.org.uk/volunteer.