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Asparagus, Bruschetta, Chilli: the ABCs of Volunteering with Be Enriched

Are you curious about volunteering with us? Have you ever wondered how we turn surplus food into a hot healthy meal? We caught up with Andrea, Masters student, dog-lover and regular Be Enriched volunteer, to give a behind the scenes peek into our Community Canteens.

Andrea was drawn to volunteer with us through her interest in team-work, empathy and communication skills. She was also looking for ways to improve her mental health, post-Covid, whilst giving something back to the community. Be Enriched offered everything she was looking for, while providing her with the chance to help socially excluded individuals, reduce food waste, and learn more about different types of cooking.

In her first session, Andrea helped the team produce bruschetta with grilled asparagus, vegetable chilli served on a jacket potato, and an apple strudel. Her success in the kitchen inspired her, and she’s been volunteering with us ever since.

Andrea describes her experience at the canteen as profoundly rewarding; every time she visits the Elephant and Castle canteen she helps prepare meals, setup the space, and has enriching conversations. Andrea loves seeing the guests enjoy the food, knowing that they appreciate her efforts. She also welcomes the opportunity of working with the other volunteers, who go out of their way to create a positive experience for everyone involved.

Andrea would recommend volunteering with Be Enriched, describing it as “a rewarding experience that can help you grow personally in different dimensions. You learn from people in the team, but also you learn a lot from our guests. It is very rewarding how your work contributes to the well-being of our guests, how food brings everyone together and how the guests enjoy the meal and the company. Also, the sense of community is awesome since you are part of something that is changing lives in a tangible way. Plus, if you go to the Castle Canteen, you can enjoy the desserts cooked by Peter, they are absolutely amazing!”

You can find out more about volunteering with us, including how to sign up, on our webpage, or get in touch with our Volunteer Coordinator (who works Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays) by emailing

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