The latest news from the Stirling branch of Food Train.
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.
Local school St Modans in Stirling has been supporting Food Train by accompanying students from their Autism Base to come along and do some volunteering shopping on a Tuesday and Wednesday morning. The students have enjoyed their placement and have become great shoppers as well as valuable members of the shopping team. Pictured above are Connor Coupar and Paul Farley who help on a Tuesday morning in Morrisons.
Food Train were recognised at the Inspiring Volunteers Award Ceremony hosted by SVE in Stirling's Albert Halls on 23rd Septmber as winners of the Inclusive Volunteering category. The category was open to nominations from organisations that challenge discrimination and inequality in the volunteering sector and in the wider community. Volunteers Pat McPake and John Clarke were at the ceremony with manager Fran Thow to collect the trophy and certificate from Inspector Jim Young of Police Scotland.