Huddersfield food bank The Welcome Centre has put out an urgent plea for more volunteers to help hundreds of people in need every week.
The charity is based on Lord Street in Huddersfield town centre with its warehouse on Queens Mill Industrial Estate in Lockwood.
The charity needs volunteers for three main roles called phones, stores and fresh.
Telephone volunteers deal with referrals for help from organisations who will tell them about people needing support from the charity and this role is based in Lord Street.
Those who opt to work in the stores will be based at the Lockwood warehouse and their role is to sort the food and put crisis packs together that include food, toiletries and other essential items.
Volunteers wanting to do the fresh role are based at Lord Street and hand over packs to people arriving there for help, adding in fresh food.
The Welcome Centre now has 100 volunteers and fundraising manager Emma Greenough said: “Without our volunteers we simply could not do what we do.
“The lasting impact of the pandemic and the current cost of living crisis means demand for our service has reached record levels with us now supporting around 500 people each week.
“Simply put, this means we need to expand our volunteer team so we can continue to give exceptional service to those in need.”
Emma said it can be a fast-paced environment and attention to detail is vital to make sure everyone gets the food pack they want and need. It can also mean spending most of the day on your feet.
She said the phone roles can also have their tough moments, adding: “Some of our roles require strong IT skills and involve answering calls.
“You’ll be recording client details on our system – sometimes from specialist support agencies and others directly from our clients. These roles can carry a degree of emotional strain as you will be listening first-hand to client circumstances.”
Emma added: “The people we help all have one thing in common – they’re in crisis. We know that anyone can find themselves in a financial crisis and we’re here to help.
“Individuals and families face challenges such as job loss, debt and eviction, benefits issues, homelessness, domestic violence, substance misuse and physical and mental health problems.”
To volunteer simply apply on The Welcome Centre’s website at https://www.thewelcomecentre.org/pages/apply-here
Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.