Today we’re celebrating International Friendship Day. As lockdown begins to lift and we are more able to see the ones we love, there is no better time to honour the relationships that mean the most to us!
At FoodCycle, we believe that building and maintaining a good friendship is just as nourishing to the soul as a good meal. That’s why we’ve been running our Check-in and Chat service. After our guests receive their food parcels, our lovely volunteers have been calling them up and talking about everything, from their favourite ingredients to their weekend plans.
As we roll out our Cook and Collect programs and we’re unable to open up as usual just yet, we’ve found that this service gives our usual diners a much needed way to socialise. It also gives our volunteers a new understanding of just how important checking in on our loved ones is, and a chance to make new friends too.
So in aid of International Friendship Day, we wanted to share some of the feedback we’ve had from volunteers and guests.
Volunteer Rayna has said:
“I was already involved in the Prestwich FoodCycle project and was due to volunteer the weekend that services were pulled. Around the same time I was furloughed. I live alone which I normally enjoy, life was so busy with work and hobbies (including foodcycle) that I had no time to feel lonely!
Life changed for all of us during lockdown and I really felt as if a rug had been pulled from under my feet. I found myself alone with nothing to do and lots of time to overthink. I feel very fortunate to have been able to resume volunteering with FoodCycle both bag packing for food deliveries and as a member of the Check-in and Chat team.
I am really enjoying participating in Check-in and Chat. The people I speak to trust me with snippets of their life stories. Involvement in this project has given me some purpose and motivation at a difficult time. The chats I have with such a range of interesting people has also helped with my own feelings of isolation.”
Our Guest from Cambridge said:
“It has made my day hearing from you. I go to the meal every week and I was hoping someone would call me and now you have. It’s such a blessing to receive a call.”
However you want to mark International Friendship Day, we hope you take time to think about those who still aren’t able to see their favourite people. If you have time to volunteer, we would love for you to join our check-in and chat service. Please note that you will need to have access to the internet, to complete a two-hour training session and to make four calls a week. There is a description of the role here and if you are already registered you can sign up to a training session now.