Gateshead, TYNE and WEAR (On-site)
Job description

Cooking Project Leader

About the role

As a volunteer Cooking Project Leader you'll induct volunteers into the kitchen, facilitate the team, create recipe ideas, and lead on the preparation and cooking of the meal. You'll be protecting the environment through the use of surplus ingredients donated by local businesses, and you'll help to build a resilient and empowered community through the sharing of delicious food and conversation.

Responsibilities include:

  • Running cooking sessions, leading a team of volunteers to create a three-course meal in a limited timeframe.
  • Encouraging the whole team to have input into planning a tasty, healthy, and nutritionally balanced menu using surplus food ingredients.
  • Inducting new volunteers into the kitchen.
  • Working with your Project Leader team to ensure that all elements of the Project run smoothly, including maintaining a tidy and well stocked store cupboard.
  • Ensuring that all volunteers follow the food safety procedures set out in our kitchen handbook.
  • Completing the weekly checklist in the kitchen handbook, and the weekly session report via our website.

You don't need to have any previous cooking experience - you just need to love food and motivating people!

About FoodCycle

Week in, week out we nourish the hungry and lonely in our communities with delicious meals and great conversation, using food which would otherwise go to waste.

FoodCycle aims to:

  • Connect communities
  • Support mental health and wellbeing
  • Nourish the hungry
  • Promote sustainability
  • Inspire change

A FoodCycle Project is where the magic happens. Each Project is run on the ground by a team of lead volunteers called Project Leaders, who ensure the smooth running of their FoodCycle Project. Project Leaders are passionate, committed and want to make a positive change within their community. They take ownership and make decisions about the day-to-day running of their Project.

Skills you'll learn

  • Teamwork: you'll work as part of a team to prepare a delicious meal and serve it to our guests.
  • Leadership and delegation: we'll train you up to lead cooking sessions and induct new volunteers.
  • Cooking: you'll learn how to cater for large numbers of guests and how to make nutritionally balanced meals.
  • Problem solving: you won't always know your ingredients ahead of time, so you will need to get creative to produce delicious three-course meals.
  • Relationship building: you'll be building lasting relationships with your guests and volunteers, ensuring they come back each week.

What to expect from FoodCycle

  • Regular visits, support, and advice from your local FoodCycle staff team.
  • Expenses covered in line with our volunteer policy.
  • Accredited Level 2 Food Safety qualification provided by FoodCycle.
  • A variety of other training opportunities provided throughout the year, including first aid.
  • An annual conference to help share knowledge and experience with other volunteers on a national level.
  • The opportunity to take on additional tasks/responsibilities within your Project Leader team.
  • Impressive skills to add to your CV and a reference if/when you need it.
  • The opportunity to meet a large network of like-minded people.
  • A fun, creative volunteer experience with ownership over a community-led Project.

What's expected from me

We hope that Project Leaders stay with us for a minimum of 6 months, to enable them to get the most out of the role. As Cooking Project Leader, you will be expected to:

  • Attend regular Project Leader meetings to discuss as a team how things are going.
  • Lead a minimum of one session per month.
  • Follow all FoodCycle policies and procedures, including reporting any accidents and incidents.
  • Complete Level 2 Food Safety, Food Allergens, and safeguarding training.
  • Complete an enhanced DBS check (required for all roles involving 'regulated activity').
  • Recognise, respond to, and report any safeguarding issues or concerns. Note: you must not be barred from working with children and adults who may be vulnerable and at risk of abuse or neglect.
  • Complete the session Project report on our website after leading a session.

Time commitment

The suggested minimum time commitment for the Cooking Project Leader role is 8 hours a month.

To apply

Visit to complete a Project Leader application form.

Safeguarding statement

"Safeguarding is everyone's business - FoodCycle is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare / wellbeing of children, young people and adults at risk. It expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment."

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Posted on: 29 June 2022
Closed date: 27 July 2022 at 16:08
Job ref: LF2460
Tags: Campaigning