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James, one of our UKHarvest volunteers has thrived as part of our team, and succeeded with his employment and wellbeing through his volunteering duties 

At UKHarvest, we are privileged to have the help and support of our fantastic team of volunteers. We welcome everyone, and each person has their own reasons to join us, and their own story to tell. We often discover that volunteering with UKHarvest and at Nourish Hub in London has helped members of the team in their lives, whether that’s wellbeing support, upskilling or enabling connections with a wider community.  

One of those fantastic team members, James, began volunteering with us just over a year ago having taken a break from his working life for personal reasons. James has kindly agreed to allow us to share his incredible journey from volunteering to upskilling and finding the right path for him to obtain the work-life balance he wanted.  

James began volunteering with our kitchen volunteers, processing and cooking rescued food but quickly migrated to our warehouse under the watchful eye of Jon, the warehouse manager, unloading and organising deliveries of food from across the country, ensuring it’s ready for donation to our charities and community food hubs. Jon told us that ‘Working with James has been great. He’s fun to have in the warehouse and we’re lucky to have him onboard. His passion for supporting the community is a constant source of inspiration’. Realising that there is a constant need for additional support within the community, James joined the volunteer team hoping to help make a direct impact on the lives of others. 

‘My favourite thing about volunteering at UKHarvest is the people. The volunteers and staff are great to work with and I have enjoyed working as part of a team.’ James has built up some good relationships with members of the staff and volunteer community in his time at UKHarvest. 

Knowing that he wanted to challenge himself, James undertook the volunteer role as it was something he’d never done before. By volunteering, James was able to develop new skills such as working within a team, presenting his own ideas and making connections with new people. He soon appreciated that there were other ways of living life and enhancing both his own well-being and his opportunities in the future.  James shared that since he began volunteering, he has ‘become more open to trying new things that I wouldn't have previously thought were of interest to me. It has given me a different idea of what could be important for me to do in my life’. 

As with many of our volunteers we are delighted to share that through upskilling, working as a team member and opening the door to new challenges, James has built his confidence, and allowed himself to learn a range of new skills that has enabled him to return to work at an accountancy firm as a part-time Private Client Tax Senior. What James discovered is that his love for volunteering and his joy for work gave him the opportunity to create a greater work-life balance, with more varied activities throughout the week. Allowing himself the time and space to enjoy the things he loves, spend time with people and to appreciate his improved wellbeing has taken a little time but he is pleased to have had the opportunity to shape the life he wants to lead.  

Will Wallace, who coordinates the UKHarvest volunteers, told us that ‘This is a true testament to the extraordinary impact that volunteering can have in people’s lives. We are thrilled for James and are delighted that he continues to volunteer with us during his spare time.’ We were really pleased to hear that through volunteering with UKHarvest, James has discovered that he is more open to working as part of a team and being involved in the activities and tasks taking place each day. More importantly, he has discovered that he has a better understanding of what he needs to have a fulfilled and happy life, taking on responsibilities in areas that he really enjoys. 

To find out how you can volunteer with UKHarvest click here