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Food Friends Lead Area Coordinator – Ashford

Salary: £28,860 FTE (£11,700 per year)

Contract Type: 12-month Fixed Term Contract

Hours: 15 per week worked flexibly throughout the week

Location: home based with significant community outreach work involving regular local travel

Reporting to: Food Friends CEO

At Food Friends we believe that food is the perfect way to bring communities together, bridge divides and connect those whose paths would never usually cross. The gift of a meal is so much more than the ingredients on a plate. It’s nourishment beyond nutrition that brings kindness and connection, which is exactly what lies at the heart of the Food Friends model.

We run an innovative meal sharing initiative which connects volunteers, who are willing to deliver an extra portion of their home cooked food, with a neighbour who would benefit from a nutritious meal delivered with company and conversation.

We set up Food Friends in Whitstable in 2019 with the sole aim of addressing social isolation and loneliness within our local community. Currently operational across the Canterbury District and Faversham, we are now looking for an enthusiastic, confident, and versatile lead coordinator to establish a new Food Friends community in Ashford.

This role requires leadership, creativity, patience, and positivity. Whilst receiving regular support from the CEO and the wider Food Friends team, you will often be the only Food Friends representative in the room! You will be required to encourage and inspire volunteers to join our team, engage with professionals in your community to install confidence in what Food Friends can offer and gently reassure and engage people within the community who would benefit from being involved.

Key Responsibilities

Volunteer engagement, managing the end-to-end recruitment process and providing ongoing regular support

  • Creatively advertising and promoting the volunteer role within your local community. This may involve canvassing local businesses and schools, joining local groups, leafleting, market stalls etc
  • Processing volunteer applications, requesting references, and DBS checks
  • Delivering informal induction training
  • 3 monthly check ins with all volunteers once they are matched and cooking for a Food Friend
  • Supporting volunteers with any questions or concerns they may have along the way

Meeting and supporting Food Friends referred to us

  • Responsible for meeting new Food Friends referred from local health and social care services
  • Making friendly introductory phone calls to arrange home visits
  • Scheduled home visits to complete essential paperwork including allergy and intolerance declarations
  • Supporting Food Friends to access other local organisations and services which they may benefit from
  • 3 monthly check ins with all Food Friends once they are matched up and receiving delicious home cooked meals from their volunteer cook
  • Supporting Food Friends with any questions or concerns they may have along the way

Networking and working with other local charities and organisations

  • Proactively developing new connections with local organisations across Ashford
  • Forging relationships with health and social care professionals in the area
  • Maintaining existing positive professional relationships within the wider Food Friends community

Essential skills, experience, and personal qualities

  • Has an excellent and extensive knowledge of the Ashford community
  • A real people person with excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Happy to stand up and shout about Food Friends – whether this is in a one-to-one meeting with a professional over a cuppa or jumping on an organisation’s online meeting to fill everyone in
  • Passionate about community and the importance of connection, always treating everyone with kindness, dignity, respect, and fairness
  • Ability to develop positive relationships with people from all backgrounds
  • Self-motivated and creative
  • Patience and tenacity
  • Happy to work independently and seek support where necessary
  • Ability to easily travel to, and attend, appointments within the local area
  • Good computer skills, or if lacking in confidence, happy to develop these with support
  • Understands the importance of working in line with Food Friends policies and procedures, in particular safeguarding and lone working
  • Previous experience of working with individuals that are lonely or isolated ideal but not essential
  • Voluntary sector experience ideal but not essential

Food Friends is committed to safeguarding children, young people, vulnerable adults, and the elderly or any person at risk. All members of the Food Friends team are required to have a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Security check which we will fund.

How to apply

Application is by CV and a cover letter of no more than 700 words demonstrating how your experience and aptitude make you the right person for the job. This could be demonstrated through paid/voluntary work or life experience.

Please send these to by Monday, September 4th, 2023, at 11:59 pm.

We are happy to support you if you need any help making an application. If you’d like to have a chat before applying, please contact

Interviews will take place in September.

Anna Mantell


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