National Volunteers' Week: Kate and the Banbury Community Fridge

This week (June 1-7) is National Volunteers Week and it's time to highlight the work of our wonderful local volunteers.

In 2018, Banbury Community Fridge at the Merton Street mosque officially opened, and has been serving the whole community since, by accepting surplus food from local businesses which is then freely available to everyone.

Getting food to the Community Fridge from local supermarkets and businesses, as well as keeping it clean and tidy, requires the support of volunteers, and after seeing Facebook posts asking for help, Kate decided to get involved.

She said: "I live locally and think it’s a brilliant project which supports the local community and the environment’ It's ‘a win-win project which also shows the kindness of the community."

Before Covid-19, Kate would visit the fridge on a Monday morning but recently has taken on a new role. She explained: "I have been able to help with collection of excess food from supermarkets and delivery of food parcels to vulnerable people, which has been up to three times per week."

As well as providing support, volunteers sometimes find they need to be supported too, and in Kate’s case, family members have got on board to help.

Kate added: "My son has helped me by being my navigator, which has meant doing something together whilst showing him first-hand the benefits of being able to give time."

Enthusiasm and passion for volunteering has been vital over the past few weeks, with 1000s of people coming forward to volunteer and as Kate reflects: "I think it’s a great time to volunteer as we can see there are many ways to contribute which help others and ourselves."

For residents who live locally, the Community Fridge has no restrictions on who can take surplus food and by doing so you too can support the environment, as Kate says ‘by us taking an hour out of the day we have helped re-route food to people in need which would have otherwise gone in the bin.’

Visit the Banbury Community Fridge Facebook page for more information.