What is it like to volunteer at the Lincoln Community Grocery?

Kerry Werling interviews Sue Brier

Tell me a little about yourself ….
I’m 72 years old, have been retired for a number of years and just love volunteering!

How long have you been volunteering at the Grocery?
About four months.

How did you come to be involved with the Community Grocery?
I saw Kerry at Alive Church and she told us all about it. It sounded like what I wanted to do – so I thought I’d come down to the Grocery to give it a go- and I love it!

What’s your favourite part about being part of the Grocery team?
Meeting the members of the Grocery and all the volunteers – there’s a lovely team spirit there.

What has been the biggest challenge?
There are changes everyday to stock and nothing remains the same from week to week – I volunteer once a week so the challenge for me is catching up with the changes when I come in, for example what’s on the shelves or in the fridge that day and how many of each product the members can take.

The Grocery is stocked with good food saved from being wasted

Tell us something you have learned through this role?
That I really enjoy being involved; especially with helping people. Volunteering at the Grocery has reenforced that really. It’s very satisfying meeting the members and finding out if they have any extra issues we can help with or just pointing them in the direction of other things that might help them.

What would you say to anyone thinking about becoming a volunteer?
I tell everybody it’s certainly worth doing even if it’s just for a couple of hours. It’s so worth while for yourself but so helpful to the Community Grocery as well – the more volunteers, the better!

What would you say to someone having a really difficult time right now, who is worried
about whether they are eligible or not to shop at the Grocery?

I’d just say that everyone is eligible who is struggling with the cost of their weekly shop, nobody is made to feel not worthy. Members are able to choose the food they’d like – it’s like a shop whereas at Foodbank the food is given. Members feel like they are shopping, and they still have to pay a bit of money at the till, which is better for them – yes everyone is welcome and there is no means test or anything – I’d just encourage people to come along!

We’d like to say a big THANK YOU to all who volunteer at Lincoln Community Grocery – you are all AMAZING!

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