Volunteer Roles

FoodCycle Volunteers

Become a Project Leader

Our Project Leaders are passionate, committed and want to make a positive change within their community. Why not take on a lead volunteer role and help feed people in your community.

Apply here

Job Description

Each Project is run by our lead volunteers, called Project Leaders.  Each leader will take on a specific role to ensure the smooth running of their FoodCycle Project. These people are passionate, committed and want to make a positive change within their community, taking ownership and making decisions about the day-to-day running of their Project.

No previous experience required. Full training is provided.

Hosting Project Leader
As a Hosting Project Leader, you’ll act as the maître’ d of the team, running your Project’s front of house and helping to create a warm, friendly atmosphere that will make both volunteers and guests want to return each week. Your team of volunteers will lay the tables, greet guests, and serve the food– all under your guidance!

Download the full role description.

Cooking Project Leader
As a 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, to turn the surplus food delivery in to a delicious and nutritious three course meal.

Download the full role description.

Surplus Food Coordinator
As a Surplus Food Coordinator, you’ll be a central part of the Project Leader team working with local supermarkets, shops, restaurants and surplus food services to ensure the weekly FoodCycle session has a regular donation of food. You will be passionate about reducing the amount of food that’s wasted in our society and actively seek out opportunities to work with local services, grow your Project’s networks within the local community, and represent FoodCycle at local food waste events and meetings.

Download the full role description.

If you’re looking to take on extra responsibility, you can also check out these additional Project Leader roles.

Equality, diversity and inclusion – FoodCycle prides itself on being a diverse organisation and welcomes volunteers and guests from all backgrounds and walks of life – we do not condone or tolerate any form of discrimination.  Visit our equal opportunities page to find out more about volunteering with a disability.


What to expect from FoodCycle

  • Regular visits, support and advice from your Regional Manager.
  • Expenses covered in line with our volunteer policy.
  • Accredited Level 2 Food Safety qualification provided by FoodCycle.
  • An annual training conference to equip you for your role.
  • A variety of other training opportunities provided throughout the year, including safeguarding and first aid.
  • 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 a 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 Project Leader role is 8 hours a month.

Skills & Personal Qualities 

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 sessions and induct new volunteers.
  • Safeguarding: you’ll learn how to ensure that the safety of our guests and volunteers is always maintained and everyone acts within the correct boundaries.
  • Relationship building: you’ll be building lasting relationships with your guests and volunteers, ensuring they come back each week.

Top skills and personal qualities

Our existing Project Leaders have identified some top skills and personal qualities for the Project Leader role. If you have any of these, you would make a great Project Leader!

Additional skills and personal qualities

If you’re unsure which Project Leader role is best for you, see below for some additional skills and personal qualities. These aren’t essential, but might make you particularly suited to a certain role!

Induction & Training

Required training

All Project Leaders follow the same induction process and complete the same basic training, guided by their Regional staff team and fellow Project Leaders. See above for an overview of the induction and training process.

Optional training

All Project Leaders have access to a wide variety of additional, completely FREE training to help carryout their Leader role. This includes first aid, conflict management, nutrition, leadership, and more!

Lots of the training is in a flexible, remote format such as online videos and modules, digital documents, and real time video conference training sessions.

We also hold an annual conference where we listen to our Project Leaders about what training they feel is needed, and work with them to provide this.

How to lead a FoodCycle session

Taking on a leadership role can sometimes seem a bit daunting, especially if there’s a lot to remember, or if your responsibilities are unclear. That’s why we make sure every Project has its own Project Leader guide! These comprehensive guides contain step by step information on how to lead sessions, as well as important local-level information such as venue details. Take a sneak-peek below to find out how you would lead a hosting session and a cooking session…




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