Sign up as a Volunteer


Food Train Volunteer


We welcome applications from everyone, whether you feel able to help us on a regular basis, occasionally as a stand-in or emergency volunteer (such as when a customer’s usual volunteer is unavailable due to illness or holiday), or even both.

There are currently two volunteer roles available within our Connects service.

Volunteer Shopper

In the volunteer shopper role, the Food Train Connects team will connect you with an older person living nearby who requires help with their weekly shopping.

You will collect your customer’s shopping list, do the shopping and deliver to their home using your own transport or on foot. It is intended that this is a volunteering activity you can undertake whilst doing your own shopping and therefore should not incur any additional cost to you, however if a special journey is required, Food Train can reimburse out of pocket travelling expenses where necessary.

All we ask of you is that you are willing:

  • to pay for your customer’s shopping upfront and be reimbursed by Food Train
  • to take photos of shopping receipts and send to Food Train for reimbursement
  • to log in to the Connects site after each shopping delivery and record your volunteering activity
  • to complete a PVG criminal record and background check

Volunteer Phone Friend

In the volunteer phone friend role, the Connects team will connect you with one or more older people who would welcome a regular blether on the phone. You will call your ‘friends’ usually weekly or fortnightly (as agreed between you) and use the time to simply have a blether, check in on the individual’s wellbeing, allow them to share any current worries or concerns if they have any and importantly share a laugh where possible. If you identify any concerns or potential additional support needs, you will relay this to the staff team, who will follow-up.

All we ask of you is that:

  • you have a friendly nature and enjoy a blether
  • you can commit at least half an hour of your time either weekly or fortnightly
  • you are willing to log in to the Connects site after each phone call and record your volunteering activity, highlighting any concerns about, or requests from, your customer for follow up by Food Train staff
  • to complete a PVG criminal record and background check

If either of these roles sounds agreeable to you, we would love to have you on board. Please sign up below and we will be in touch shortly.


You will receive an email asking you to complete your registration.

PLEASE CHECK YOUR SPAM AND JUNK FOLDERS IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE THE EMAIL RIGHT AWAY.

By signing up, you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions - please read them first.

 

Shopping Friends Volunteer FAQs

 

Who would I be shopping for?
All customers are older people who find shopping difficult and often live alone. They have either requested a service themselves or been referred to us by partner organisations, like social workers, medical practitioners or housing associations.
How often do I need to go shopping?
We advise once a week or less frequently if that is preferred by the customer. It is a volunteering activity that you may be able to do as part of your own weekly shopping.
How many customers will I be shopping for?
We would only expect you to be paired with one customer, however if you would be happy to be paired with more than one person then this can be arranged. Food Train does not ask you to do anything beyond your capabilities or the time you have available.
Where will my shopping customer be located?
We will match you with someone in your local area. If it’s necessary to get your customer’s shopping outside of your own usual shopping trip, we can pay travel expenses up to a maximum of 10 miles.
Do I go into the person’s home to deliver shopping?
This will depend on the individual’s needs; you will be able to discuss this with your customer and decide what is best for them. Some may be happy to receive shopping at the door whereas some customers may be especially vulnerable or have mobility issues, meaning it more appropriate to enter the home to unpack shopping. If entering the person’s home, you will be asked to adhere to our current COVID-19 safeguarding rules.
Is the customer charged for this service?
Yes, we charge the customer a £1 annual membership fee to join Food Train and £5 per delivery for this service. This fee is essential to help us maintain the availability of this service for our members.
What if there is no customer for me to be matched with?
There may not be a customer immediately, but new customers are joining us all the time. If we have you signed up, then you will be ready to be matched when a new customer registers.

 

Phone Friends Volunteer FAQs

 

How often do I need to make calls?
Our customers can choose between once a week, once a fortnight or once a month. You can indicate which frequency suits you best and we will match you appropriately.
How many customers will I be calling?
We would only expect you to undertake a level of volunteering that you are comfortable with, however if you would be happy to be paired with more than one person then this can be arranged. Food Train does not expect you to do anything beyond your capabilities or the time you have available.
Where will my phone friend be located?
Our customers live throughout Scotland. Where possible we will try to match you with someone in the same part of the country, as this allows for conversation using local knowledge.
What will we talk about?
This can be decided between you and your phone friend. Initially, it would be good to let them lead the conversation and tell you a bit about themselves. You can also prompt with a few questions. Over time the ongoing conversation will become more natural and will follow on from the previous week’s chat. The purpose of the call is to provide support and friendship.
Should I visit the person at home or arrange to meet them?
The Phone Friend volunteer role involves making phone calls. You are not being asked to visit the customer or to meet up with them. If this is suggested by the customer, you can explain the boundaries of your role as a phone friend.
Is the customer charged for this service?
Yes, there is a charge of £5 per month for this service. This fee is essential to help us maintain the availability of this service for our members.
What if there is no customer for me to be matched with?
There may not be a customer immediately, but new customers are joining us all the time. If we have you signed up, then you will be ready to be matched when a new customer registers.