Volunteers are the life blood of foodbanks.
Thanks to all our volunteers for generously giving their time and energy!
We depend on the generosity, commitment and skills of volunteers who can work alongside our staff team. Whether you’ve got a short amount of time to spare, or can make a regular commitment, you can make a difference to people’s lives.
As a Lewisham Foodbank volunteer you can expect:
- Induction & training
- A dedicated Volunteer Manager who will check in with you regularly
- A volunteer newsletter
- The opportunity to see how our charity runs day to day
- The chance to get to know all of our projects
- Travel expenses reimbursed (if requested)
All volunteer positions are subject to references and a trial period.
There are several roles available to volunteers according to skill and ability. We expect volunteers to take on a maximum of two shifts per week. We accept that many volunteers will fit this around their work, and appreciate that they may not be able to commit to every week.
New Hope Centre (warehouse):
- Warehouse volunteer: packing food parcels; date checking & sorting incoming donations. You will be working in a team of approximately 5 other volunteers.
- Warehouse assistant: helping our Warehouse Manager particularly on Monday, Wednesday & Thursday mornings with moving crates out of the building ready to be delivered, helping with stock in, keeping the warehouse tidy etc. Please note this is a physical role.
- Warehouse/van team: helping with deliveries and collections in our van – either as a driver or assistant depending on driving experience.
Monday – Friday morning teams 9 or 10 am start – midday
Monday – Friday afternoon teams 2.30 – 4.30 pm
NB we have no evening or weekend teams at present.
Lewisham Foodbank Warehouse
New Hope Centre
353H Bromley Road
London SE6 2RP
There will be limited parking in the church grounds, on Beachborough Road and Homebase (opposite) have kindly agreed that volunteers can park in their car park. Please report to Customer Services and let them know you are parking for Lewisham Foodbank.
To register your interest in joining a team when we move, please email us.
All client-facing centre volunteers are asked to arrive half an hour before session starts and stay for half an hour at the end, to help with set up and set down.
- Welcome team: welcoming clients (or their representatives) when they arrive for food; briefly explaining how the system works; Covid safety; possibly temperature checks; one way systems etc. Occasionally this role might require basic de-escalation skills to be utilised. Occasionally vulnerable and struggling clients don’t find institutions of any kind easy so it’s important for welcome volunteers to be friendly, calming but firm.
- Signposting team: sitting with clients and having conversation about how they are doing; entering details on the Trussell Trust database; listing food choices and signposting. Please note this role will require training.
- Runners: observing when a signposter is ready for their client to receive their food, and ensuring that the food parcel plus any extras are put together according to each client’s individual requirements.
- Refreshments: some centres serve light refreshments to clients on arrival. One or two volunteers at each centre fulfil this task.
We always need more drivers!
- We have donation points dotted all around the borough and volunteer drivers arrange between themselves (via team WhatsApp groups) when they are available to collect food and deliver to Hope Centre, our main warehouse in Forest Hill.
- We lease a category B1 van for collecting bulk orders, and delivering pre-packed food parcels around the borough. We are always desperate for drivers and assistants to help with the heavy lifting.
- We occasionally deliver food parcels to clients who are completely isolated and have no-one to collect food on their behalf. Drivers deliver food to clients on Mondays & Thursdays.
ALL volunteers will be required to carry out basic Health & Safety and Safeguarding training every 2 years.
As there is a substantial waiting list, we do invite you in the first instance to be part of our Ad Hoc volunteers’ WhatsApp group where we put a shout-out for help when we are told of a shortage of volunteers – this is often at short notice and would be one-off rather than joining a regular team (although a lot of people on this group eventually end up on regular teams).
Twice a year we put a shout-out for volunteers (often from corporates, but open to individuals as well) to get involved in our Tesco Collection at the Elmers End and Lewisham superstores. We encourage volunteers (4 per 2-hour shift) to engage with customers, asking them to donate an item or two to Lewisham Foodbank, and rough sort ready for delivery back to our warehouse. If this is more your cup of tea, please email our Volunteer Manager Caro here
Applying to Volunteer
If you have a few hours a week you can spare to be part our amazing team, and are aged 16+, we’d love to hear from you.
Please complete this google form if you’d like to get involved. We cannot guarantee to offer you a space immediately, as we have a waiting list, but we’ll keep you on our database and contact you when we have a vacancy. When we have found a vacancy that suits your availability and skillset, we will be seeking references, and taking you through an induction programme.
Another place you might like to look for like-minded volunteering opportunities would be the Lewisham Local website.
Duke of Edinburgh
If you’d like to get involved with volunteering at Lewisham Foodbank as part of your Duke of Edinburgh volunteering module, please note that we are unable to take students under the age of 16 (unless accompanied by a parent/guardian). If you’re under 16, take a look at the Lewisham Local website for some other ideas.