Ladywood café – Alice

For the last two years, Alice and her colleague have been coming along to the Ladywood Community Centre to help with cooking food in the kitchen for the Real Junk Food Project Birmingham café there. Through her work with the charity, Active Well-Being Society, she came to discover the Real Junk Food Project Birmingham and now regularly takes along food to the Active Street events she helps to organise.

Active Streets provide community events to the streets around Birmingham. This involves the closure of the road to traffic and the organisation of events for the residents with the aim of increasing well-being and drawing people together.

The Active Well-Being Society also run Active Parks, which provides free fitness and well-being activity classes and events in parks around Birmingham for the residents.

Alice says she has a general awareness of the food waste issues in the food industry. The issue centres around the discard of huge volumes of perfectly edible food that has simply expired its best before date by supermarkets and the food industry in general. Since volunteering with TRJFPBrum, however, she is now a lot more passionate about this topic and knowledgeable on the facts.

Alice says she loves volunteering at the Ladywood Community Centre kitchen as she gets to interact with a mixture of people from a variety of backgrounds. She has also learned new skills such as preparing and cooking food for the public to food safety standards.

We want to thank Alice for her regular volunteering commitment to our project and the time she took to speak with us. It’s great to connect with other organisations in Birmingham who are providing such a worthwhile service to the community.

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Irian – a volunteer from Tahiti

There are moments in your life where you need to give your time to other people.

Irian

Soon we will say goodbye to volunteer Irian, a young man who grew up in Tahiti, an island part of French Polynesia in the Central South Pacific Ocean. It’s a French version of Hawaii, Irian says. In total, the islands together have a population of just 275k people. He currently studies Business Studies in France as he was keen to experience a ‘big country’.

A friend of his who had volunteered with us last year told Irian about the Real Junk Food Project Birmingham. Irian wanted to come and help people in Birmingham because it’s something he knows from his home country. In Tahiti people cook for each other and do a lot of charity work and Irian was drawn to our project to feed bellies not bins. Also, his degree requires him to do a 6 week internship and Irian liked the idea of improving his English while feeding and helping people in Birmingham.

Irian has worked at a range of TRJFP Birmingham venues during his internship including:

He was shocked at how much food would go to waste if we didn’t intercept it and feels inspired to introduce The Real Junk Food Project to Tahiti.

Irian’s English has improved a lot during his time with us and he enjoyed speaking to all the different people he met through the project and felt that he was able to make a difference to their lives.

People think where he is from is paradise but Tahiti has all the same problems we have including poverty and excessive wealth.

We’d like to thank Irian for his hard work with the project and wish him well for his future studies and travels!