The latest news from the Stirling branch of Food Train.
Regional Manager Fran Thow was invited to give a talk to the ladies of the Stirling Inner Wheel about Food Train on Friday 1st April. The ladies were hugely impressed on hearing about the service to support older people and Programme Convernor Anne Rankin said 'There is obviously a fabulous team of volunteers - a band of very special people, loved and appreciated by so many older people in the area'. The Club have promised to spread the word as they go about their business. The Inner Wheel is an international club for women whose 3 main objectives are a) to promote true friendship b) to encourage the ideals of personal service and c) to foster international understanding as well as supporting and fundraising for a number of charities each year. Fran was pictured with President Lesley Niven after the talk.
The local Sainsburys in Stirling delighted Food Train customers this week by surprizing them with a small tray of goodies to celebrate Easter. The tray,containing shortbread, macaroon bars, tablet tofffee and oatcakes, certainly raised a smile and a gave most a reason to put the kettle on! Sainsburys started working with Food Train in June 2015 and have been a great partner, helping us to raise funds, giving out free gifts to customers at Christmas and Easter and by respecting and valuing our volunteers (and often throwing in a free cup of tea or coffee at the end of a hard shift!). Thanks to all the staff at this super supermarket for supporting your local Food Train and its customers!
For some time now Stirling Council Youth Services team have been bringing along young people to volunteer with Food Train to aid their personal development and allow them to experience, first hand, the benefits of volunteering for the individual. Just starting her programme and our latest recruit is Chelsie Buchanan who will volunteer with us for 10 weeks. Welcome aboard Chelsie, you're already part of the team and making a great contribution! Chelsie (left) is with Youth Services support worker Lynn Haden (who also regularly volunteers for Food Train on her days off as well as supporting the young people she brings along on a weekly basis). Thank you for choosing Food Train, we think it's a great partnership!
Long term volunteers Margaret Wynn (74) and her sister, Sadie Mitchell (73) have decided to 'hand in their trollies'! Both Margaret and Sadie have volunteered for Food Train Stirling since its launch in 2011 but recent health issues mean they now have to say 'farewell'. Margaret shopped her last Food Train shop on Wednesday 2nd March (centre with some of her fellow volunteers around her) whilst Sadie unfortunately is still unwell at home. We will really miss them and wish them a happy retirement.
A group of students from the University of Stirling’s V-Team initiative rolled up their sleeves for Food Train this week. The V-Team, run by the Students’ Union and supported by the Victoria League in Scotland, helps introduce students enthused about volunteering to local projects and opportunities on their doorstep. It helps spark ideas of volunteering for new students and gives volunteer involving organisations a few extra pairs of hands as part of a taster session.
The students (from departments as diverse as biology and environmental sciences , law and computing science) were greeted at the Morrisons supermarket by regular Food Train volunteers, before accompanying them on the shop floor and helping fulfil the shopping lists of Food Train’s clients. The group then returned to the charity’s offices where they received an overview of operations by regional manager Fran Thow.
“I was delighted to be able to draw a connection between Food Train and the V-Team project. Food Train is an amazing project, which truly values and supports volunteers to an excellent level.” describes Alban Dickson, Student Activities & Volunteer Coordinator at the Students Union.
“It was great for our students to meet the regular volunteers and experience the warm, friendly atmosphere of Food Train first hand. It serves such an important purpose in Stirling right now and meeting those already committed to it is an inspiring experience. Our project not only introduces students to volunteering, but also brings together students of all backgrounds, nationalities and cultures and seeing a charity which already embraces this diversity is terrific.”
Food Train is only partly funded by a local authority grant and relies on earned income from a small delivery charge and annual membership fee as well as fundraising efforts to sustain and develop the service in the local community. Some of Stirling's volunteers held a car boot sale on Sunday 4th October to raise much needed funds and collected £294.69 for their hard work and very early start.