Husband and wife, Colin and Diane have been volunteering at our Enfield depot since its opening at the end of 2017. Colin tells us about how they got involved volunteering and the enjoyment they get out of regularly doing the same shift every week.
We first became aware of the Felix Project when we saw the charity featured on a TV programme back in 2016. At that time, the only depot the charity had was in West London, which was too far for us to travel to as we live in North London. We both wanted to give back to our local community so we contacted The Felix Project, and put our names down in the hope that there would be a depot opening closer to home. In the autumn of 2017, we received an email announcing that the charity was planning to open their second depot in Enfield. We signed up, attended an induction course and, well… the rest is history!
We try and volunteer once a week, usually on a Wednesday afternoon. I often drive one of the green Felix vans and Diane either joins me as my co-driver or helps in the warehouse. Because we do the same route every week, we have built up some really special relationships with the charities we deliver to.
Some of the volunteers working in the warehouse on a Wednesday morning know the types of produce that the charities like to receive and try their best to cater for any additional request they might have. When we visit the charities to make the weekly delivery, we are always greeted with huge smiles and sometimes even a cuddle, especially if we have been away for a week or so. You can tell the charities are so appreciative of the food they receive, and also your time as a volunteer.
It’s amazing to see how much the Enfield depot and the charity has grown as whole. To think that when we started there was only two vans in Enfield, and now we have four! The growth of the depot has meant that there has been a big increase in the number of volunteers needed to man the vans, and sort food in the warehouse. However, there is still a real community feel in the depot, even though there are over 100 volunteers who regularly give their time to help fight food waste and hunger in the area. Over the years that we have been volunteering with The Felix Project, we have got to know some of the other volunteers really well; we always have a laugh on a Wednesday afternoon about one thing or another!
Volunteering as a couple has been a fantastic experience! We get to spend some more time together, but doing something different that breaks with our routine -and certainly better than just sitting watching telly all the time! The fact that is totally flexible is a big plus – you can do as few or as many shifts as you like, on whichever day suits you. However, for us, being able to do the same shift every week has given us the chance to form these very closer relationships with the charities we deliver to. If anyone has got any spare time, it’s a great use of your time.
We recommend it to everyone: bring your loved ones, get in the depot, jump in the van and fight food waste and hunger in London together.