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Volunteer Cooking Leader

Volunteer Cooking Leader

  • Location:

    Gateshead, Tyne and Wear

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  • Published:

    8 months ago

  • Expiry date:


FoodCycle combines surplus food, volunteers and free kitchen space to create nutritious, three-course meals for the community.

We have 4 main aims:

  • To strengthen communities
  • To encourage friendships
  • To improve nutrition and reduce hunger
  • To change attitudes towards food and to reduce food waste

A FoodCycle project is where the magic happens. Each project is run on the ground by a team of 8 or more lead volunteers called Project Leaders, with each leader taking on a specific role to ensure the smooth running of their FoodCycle Project. These people are passionate, committed and want to make a positive change within their community, they take ownership of their project and make decisions about the day-to-day running of it.

About the role

As a volunteer Cooking Leader, you'll lead on inducting volunteers into the kitchen, facilitating the team, creating recipe ideas and leading on the preparation and cooking of the meal.

You will be responsible for:

  • Running cooking sessions, leading a team of volunteers to create a three-course meal in a limited timeframe
  • Ensuring the team are following the food safety procedures set out in our kitchen handbook
  • Inducting new volunteers into the kitchen
  • Encouraging the whole kitchen team to input into planning a tasty, healthy and nutritionally balanced menu
  • Communicating with other leaders and the surplus food co-ordinator to ensure the store of dry/tinned goods is kept well stocked
  • Completing the weekly checklist in the kitchen handbook and reporting on the session on My FoodCycle
  • Reporting any accidents and incidents
  • Together with the hosting leader, recognising, responding to and reporting any safeguarding issues or concerns

You don't need to have any previous cooking experience, you just need to love food and motivating people!

Skills you'll learn

  • Teamwork: you'll work as part of a team to prepare a delicious meal and serve it to our guests.
  • Leadership and delegation: we'll train you up to lead cooking sessions and induct new volunteers.
  • Cooking: you'll learn how to cater for large numbers of guests and how to make nutritionally balanced meals.
  • Problem solving: you won't always know what your ingredients will be so you will need to get creative to produce delicious 3 course meals
  • Relationship building: you'll be building lasting relationships with your guests and volunteers, ensuring they come back each week.

What to expect from FoodCycle

  • Ongoing, regular visits, support and advice from your Regional Manager.
  • A training conference to equip you for your role. Travel, accommodation and food cost covered by FoodCycle.
  • Expenses covered in line with our volunteer policy.
  • Training throughout the year from FoodCycle, including safeguarding and first aid.
  • Impressive skills to add to your CV and a reference if/when you need it.
  • Accredited level two food safety qualification provided by FoodCycle.
  • The opportunity to meet a large network of like-minded people.
  • A fun, creative volunteer experience with ownership over a community led project.

What's expected from me

We ask that Project Leaders stay with us for a minimum of 9 months, to enable them to get the most out of the role. As Cooking Leader , you will be expected to:

  • Attend a monthly Project Leader meeting to discuss as a team how things are going.
  • Lead a minimum of one session per month
  • Follow all FoodCycle policies and procedures
  • Complete a DBS check and attend safeguarding training
  • Complete the project report on our website after leading a session

Time commitment

The suggested minimum time commitment to your role is 6 hours a month.

To apply

Email for a Project Leader application form.