I am Natalie and I volunteer at BYHP on a Wednesday night as part of the Peer support group. I am a volunteer cook and try to create nutritious and tasty dishes using the donations kindly offered to BYHP from local organisations in Banbury.
I joined BYHP in October 2016 after moving to Banbury from Norwich where I was a volunteer with the Norwich Soup Movement who work to feed the homeless in Norwich. I loved this work and was keen to continue to support another local group when I moved, as I recognise that I have been very fortunate in my life and have skills that can help others.
Each week at BYHP, with the help of Deb, I try to introduce the young people to new ingredients and food through the preparation of tasty dinners. Each week I also provide a vegetarian option giving them to the opportunity to try something new and helping them to think about food differently.
I love this volunteer role as working with the young people allows me to see the wonderful difference that BYHP makes to their lives. Bringing them together each week for a meal allows the young people to chat and share stories and thoughts about their week in a casual and friendly setting, something that they may not otherwise get the chance to do.
Seeing the young people transform their lives and achieving their goals is so rewarding and it is satisfying knowing that you have a been a small part of this.
Another aspect of this volunteer cook role that I enjoy is using the donated food from local organisations. Much of the food is past its sell by date and so would otherwise end up in landfill, so using it to create delicious, nutritious food feels great!
For example, we made baked bananas with chocolate which was a real treat!
BYHP do so much excellent work to help young people and to be able to contribute to the work of this wonderful charity and to utilise my love of cooking makes me feel very lucky.
Below is a short video of the amazing pizzas that Natalie produced, from scratch, with donations (and a few ingredients we had to buy in).
To learn more or get involved with volunteering contact Ginette Wheeldon on firstname.lastname@example.org
Our blog is a great way to stay up to date with current events and projects, stories from our young people and the general goings on at BYHP.