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Post | June 2024 | For volunteers | 2 min read

Nourishing communities: Kate's story

Written by Kerry Wills
Photograph of Kate packing bags of food.

Having recently retired and moved to the local area, Kate was looking for a way to do something useful with her time and meet new people.

So, she decided to volunteer with the West Somerset Food Cupboard, a charity which runs an affordable membership scheme and offers crucial support to those in crisis. Here, she explains what the role entails and the impact it has on her and the local community.

"My volunteering involves sorting food once a fortnight, organising donations into different types of food and then making up bags of emergency supplies for local families. 

"The bags of food are the foundation of what the Food Cupboard provides, and we work with a range of local agencies such as Crisis, refuges and schools to distribute them to people experiencing food poverty.

I particularly like how the Food Cupboard tries to make their service as nice as possible for recipients. We don't make people come and collect donations themselves as it can make them feel uncomfortable, and we try to include special treats at Christmas and Easter.

"It's a fabulous thing to be part of. It's fun to do, we're a great team and it’s good to know that what you're doing is having a direct impact on people's lives. 

"There are lots of other opportunities in town and Minehead really benefits from the amount of volunteering that people do. The library, Home Start, the railway, the lifeboat - all of these local services depend on volunteers.

"I think volunteering is good for your overall health and well-being. It makes you feel like you can make a difference and has allowed me to continue to have an outlet for some of my core values."

 Ali Sanderson, manager at the West Somerset Food Cupboard, said:

"Kate’s contribution to the West Somerset Food Cupboard has a significant impact. Like many of our volunteers, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to the team, and often makes practical suggestions about how we can work together to improve the service.

"More importantly, she has a kind and generous heart which is evident in her attitude to our beneficiaries and her fellow team members. There is no judgment from her and makes everyone feel valued which has a real impact.

"Reliable volunteers like Kate are the lifeblood of small community-based projects like ours, and we simply couldn’t do what we do without the time and goodwill that they willingly share."

If Kate's story has inspired you to volunteer with the West Somerset Food cupboard, visit their website to find out how.

For more rewarding opportunities to volunteer in Somerset, please click the link below.

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