I know how hard it can be to get your first job when you might not have any relevant experience to prove you can do the job. Many jobs are advertised asking for a number of years relevant work experience. So how do you get that experience when you can’t get a job? How about volunteering? This way you get some very relevant work experience in exactly the field of nutrition that you want to work in.
Companies or individuals who can offer voluntary work in Nutrition
Beezee Bodies run weight management and healthy lifestyles programmes for adults and families in Brighton & Hove, Hertfordshire and Gloucestershire. You can sign up for volunteering by filling out the volunteer form at www.beezeebodies.com/jobs
Action on Salt is a group concerned with salt and its effect on health. They are always looking for volunteers and you can volunteer at http://www.actiononsalt.org.uk/about/donations/
Volunteer Centre Patchway can set you up with a food-related voluntary role such as a food bank or community cafe in the Bristol area. Contact Barbara on 07973 781616 or go to www.volunteercentre-pfs.org.uk
Live Well Stay Well in Bucks are happy to have volunteers. They can be contacted at PARKWOOD.email@example.com addressing it to Olivia Mosley (Service Lead).
Cracking Good Food are always looking for volunteers for their cookery school and community outreach programme based in Manchester. Contact Amanda Aitken @aleeaitken or go to the website and look for volunteer opportunities at crackinggoodfood.org
School Food Matters have many voluntary roles to deliver cooking and growing activities across a number of their projects in schools across London. They can be contacted at https://www.schoolfoodmatters.org/about-us/work-us
Be Enriched are always looking for volunteers to come and help at one of their community canteens in London. http://www.be-enriched.org.uk/Get-involved
Eat Well Age Well are recruiting Eating Well volunteers across the Forth Valley area. https://twitter.com/EatWellScot/status/1128960193042239489
FareShare have locations across the UK and are always looking for volunteers. They redistribute surplus food to charities that turn it into meals. https://fareshare.org.uk/volunteer/
FoodCycle have a large number of locations and are looking for volunteers in some very relevant roles for Nutrition students. They serve community meals across the country. https://www.foodcycle.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer/
The Food Chain is based in London and deliver meals and groceries, offer cookery and nutrition classes and communal eating opportunities to people living with HIV in London and their dependants. They are always looking for volunteers. http://www.foodchain.org.uk/volunteer/
Brighton & Hove Food Partnership are looking for volunteers for their many community food projects across the Brighton & Hove area. https://bhfood.org.uk/category/get-involved/volunteer/
Food Foundation in London have two main volunteer programmes throughout the year between May and September and between October and January. If you’re interested in a volunteer position with The Food Foundation, they review CVs during the following months only:
March (for the summer intake)
July (for the winter intake)
Please submit your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
Food for All in London are looking for volunteers for to help produce and deliver meals to the vulnerable every day. They also have remote home-working opportunities. https://foodforalluk.com/volunteer/
Belfast Food Network you can sign up to volunteer here https://www.belfastfoodnetwork.org/get-involved
Edinburgh Community Food accept volunteers at https://www.edinburghcommunityfood.org.uk/volunteer-with-us
Local Food Banks find out where your local food bank and offer to volunteer. You can look here for independent food banks https://www.foodaidnetwork.org.uk/independent-food-banks-map or on The Trussell Trust website https://www.trusselltrust.org/get-help/find-a-foodbank/. Other food banks operate through other organisations but should be easy to find in your local area with a quick Google search.
Age UK accept volunteers across the UK. You can sign up here https://www.ageuk.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer/
Katie Chuter of kcnutrition offers blog writing experience for her website. You can view Katie’s website here https://www.kcnutrition.org/blog-1 which also has her contact details on it.
Trussell Trust food banks are in many communities across the UK. You can sign up to volunteer here https://www.trusselltrust.org/get-involved/volunteer/
FoodCloud is a social enterprise that connects businesses with surplus food to charities across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. You can sign up to volunteer with them here https://food.cloud/volunteer-with-foodcloud/
MetMUnch is a global award-winning, student-led social enterprise. At its heart is a passion for sustainable and nutritious food – and sharing that passion with students, staff, local businesses and communities through collaborative projects. Get involved here – www.metmunch.com
GROW features a meat free café serving delicious, healthy, locally sourced, student-led vegan and vegetarian food. Launched by MetMUnch, the café is staffed with students, and has a packed programme of activities promoting healthy and sustainable habits. Grow with them here – www.growmeatfree.com
Bags of Taste are looking for volunteers who can you spare an hour a week for two weeks to mentor participants on their virtual courses. Mentoring takes place on WhatsApp, phone, email or Facebook Messenger. It’s very rewarding supporting participants through their food journey and they share their progress with you along the way. You can help wherever you are in the country. All you need is empathy and a calm, consistent approach. You can register as a volunteer here https://www.bagsoftaste.org/volunteer/virtual-course/
ABL Health offer many volunteering opportunities and many of the volunteers go on to permanent roles with ABL Health https://www.ablhealth.co.uk/social-values/ You can sign up for volunteering with ABL Health here https://www.ablhealth.co.uk/work-for-us/be-a-volunteer/
VegCities – local campaigns are keen to get volunteers to help out. There’s no obligations, but every now and again the VEG CITIES campaign coordinator in your area may email you to see if you can help out. https://www.vegcities.org/get_involved/volunteer/
Bristol Food Network have a variety of volunteering roles available across a range of projects. You can sign up here https://www.bristolfoodnetwork.org/volunteering/
91 Ways are a community-focused social enterprise called 91 Ways to Build a Global City, based in Bristol and named after the 91 languages spoken there. They are always looking for more volunteers and have a range of roles available including cooking, event support, crowdfunding support, social media and others. You need to complete a form which can be found here https://91ways.org/volunteer/
TastEd help schools and nurseries to deliver taste education, to give every child the opportunity to experience the joy of fresh vegetables and fruits. The are currently seeking Research Volunteers who can help grow TastEd in their region. This will involve becoming the expert on what is happening within food and education locally, researching what’s already happening in the area, finding out who might be interested in taste education and looking at possible local sources of income. To get involved please send a short letter of interest (in this please outline any relevant experience you have or feel free to attach a CV if this is easier) to email@example.com or if you have any questions please contact Fran by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will keep updating this list as offers come up. Good Luck and I would love to hear from anyone who is successful in getting a volunteering opportunity with one of these organisations.
Zoe Griffiths is a Registered Nutritionist (Public Health) with over 25 years experience working with public health organisations across the UK including the Department of Health and many public health departments. Zoe has specialised in working with children and young people and helping practitioners to implement healthier eating into their setting. Zoe has worked as a Public Health Nutrition Lecturer in many Universities and has run hundreds of training courses for caterers, chefs, personal trainers, leisure staff, health and other professionals.