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Chatting with Trish: Canteen volunteer and tie dye extraordinaire

Our Volunteer Coordinator, Helen, grabbed a few minutes with volunteer Trish to find out about what she thinks of her time with Be Enriched:

Thanks for taking the time to tell us about your volunteering experiences, Trish. What’s your regular day job?

I worked for Nationwide for 33 years and was made redundant in February this year. I loved working for a mutual organisation and helping our members.

What have you been doing with Be Enriched?

I’ve been volunteering at the Graveney Canteen, and I love it. I help prepare the meal and serve our visitors. I am a real chatterbox, and I’ve have had some fantastic chats with our visitors and the other volunteers. I talked a lot in my day job, so I have really missed it!

I’ve also helped to run the Brixton People's Kitchen (BPK) Community Shop, and I’ve been out on the food van a few times.

What prompted you to volunteer?

After working for such a long time, I really was at a loose end, and wanted to do something to help my community. I checked out a few internet sites and this just jumped out. I was a bit nervous the first time I volunteered, but everyone was so helpful and friendly, I loved it.

Pictured: Trish and her partner, Rich, doing what they like doing best - having a party!

Why do you think people should try volunteering, and what’s the best part?

I really look forward to volunteering; when you have worked for such a long time, you forget there are other things out there and people that really need help. This could be a meal or just a chat. Volunteering has made me realise this. After being made redundant, I felt really low. Volunteering has given me my drive back! I want to get involved and make a difference. It is also great fun. Everyone I have met has been a joy, and volunteering will be part of my life for as long as I am able to do it.

You have also been busy through the summer. What have you been up to?

This summer, I’ve been helping out with BPK and their Summer Takeover! BPK ran summer activities and provided free lunches for kids throughout the school holiday, and I was more than happy to help out wherever I was needed. One of my favourite activities was tie dye! Children love anything messy and colourful, so it was a real crowd-pleaser.

Activities like the Summer Takeover are so important for our community. After the last 18 months, families need extra support and if we can provide that for them, I’m all in! It was great to chat to all the different families who came each week, and it was good to see the positive impact from the work that Be Enriched and BPK continue to do.

Finally, what is your signature dish and are you prepared to share your recipe?

No problem!

Trish’s Peri Peri Chicken

700g boneless chicken thighs

1 Onion

3 peppers, any colour

3 cloves garlic

4 tomatoes

200 grams basmati rice

500ml chicken stock

2 tablespoons of Peri-Peri seasoning

1. Heat some olive oil in a large lidded pan. Cut chicken thighs into bite size pieces and brown in the pan with one tablespoon of Peri Peri seasoning. Once browned, remove chicken pieces from the pan.

2. Dice the onion and sauté in the same pan for 8-10 minutes until soft. Chop the garlic and add to the pan and cook for a minute.

3. Slice the peppers and add to the pan. Add rice, remaining Peri-Peri seasoning and then stock. Put chicken thighs back in the pan, and bring to the boil, then reduce down to a simmer. Cover with the pan lid and cook for 15-20 minutes, until all the stock is absorbed and the rice cooked.

4. While everything is cooking, chop the tomatoes into small pieces, remove seeds and add to the pan to heat through.

5. That's it! Serve in bowls, and sprinkle with some fresh chopped parsley.

Be Enriched is always looking for enthusiastic, friendly volunteers to help out in its canteens. Find out how to book a session at on the Eventbrite pages: Castle or Graveney

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