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Why I became a volunteer as a student

Are you a student thinking of getting stuck into some volunteering in 2019? Meet Brad Corrigan, a 20 year-old student volunteer who is a Project Leader at FoodCycle Dalston. Here he shares why he first decided to volunteer with FoodCycle, what he enjoys about it and what skills he is gaining from being a volunteer.

Why did you get involved?

FoodCycle tackles two issues that I’ve been passionate about for my whole life. Tackling unnecessary food waste and helping those in need. I’ve never really had the confidence to go out and volunteer but the friendly approach that FoodCycle takes made me feel a lot better about going along and volunteering my time for a good cause.

What do you do for FoodCycle each week? 

Each week I help lead sessions where we cook high quality, healthy, vegetarian meals for people who need a good meal and company. I enjoy it because it helps me to give back to the community, but also helps me to connect with people from all different walks of life – this includes the guests, but also the other volunteers. Engaging with a range of different people has helped me gain a wider perspective of the world in my personal life.

FoodCycle has helped me improve how I work under stressful situations. It’s improved my on the spot thinking and it’s made me a much more dynamic, confident person than I used to be.

What skills are you developing in your role with FoodCycle?

As someone with a solid grounding in the humanities and social media, I hope to bring some social media knowledge to my local project so that we can keep recruiting amazing volunteers and getting our message out there.

What do you do when you’re not volunteering?

A lot! I’m a full-time student, and I work at a café to help pay the bills! I also work at a small PR firm for experience (I want to work in corporate social responsibility when I graduate), and I help run the social media accounts for my department at university. It’s a lot – but all this experience is exciting and is helping to shape me into the person I want to be.

Say to someone considering volunteering?

Do it! When I first moved to London I spent so much time procrastinating, sleeping, being lazy, and I just felt unfulfilled. So when my second year of uni started I promised myself to say yes to every opportunity and I have no regrets. I’ve done so much great stuff this year and FoodCycle really is the icing on the cake. You get to know that you’re doing genuine good and helping people directly.

Can you sum up FoodCycle in a few words?

Fulfilling, rewarding, full-on, exciting!

Honestly, just come along. Everyone is so lovely, you’ll feel at home straight away.

Fancy joining him as a student volunteer? Sign up online here.

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