Remote Volunteering – Something To Suit Everyone

Remote working, hybrid working, home based working – the pandemic has hastened a move to more flexible ways of working that are proving to be more convenient, good for our wellbeing and family friendly. However, it’s not just paid employment that is seeing this positive shift, the world of volunteering is becoming much more flexible offering many home based and remote volunteer roles.

At Food Train our Connects service has many such opportunities, let me tell you about a few – we offer a fantastic home based opportunity to become a ‘Phone Friend’ , you would be matched up with an older person who you would call for a weekly a chat. The calls usually last between 30 mins and an hour and can happen at any time of the week that suits both you and your phone friend.

Another amazing opportunity is to become one of our ‘Online Shoppers’ you would be paired up with an older person who requires an online shopping placed for them, you would call them at a regular, agreed time to chat through their shopping list and place the order for them online. Or how about being one of our ‘Shopping Companions’? You would be paired with an older person in your local community to take them out to do their own grocery shopping, the day and time you do this would be agreed between the two of you alternatively you could be ‘Shopping Friend’ – going to do an older person’s shopping for them and taking it to their home.

Then there is our meal sharing service, we recruit volunteer cooks who will provide a home cooked meal, once a week, to an older person in their local area. It’s a lovely opportunity, just make an extra portion of the family meal you are making anyway and deliver to the older person you are paired with.

That’s not all! There is also the chance to be one of our ‘Telephone Supporter’ volunteers, these volunteers can help with various different tasks including phoning several older people to collect their shopping lists or checking in on them and their volunteers to ensure the service they are receiving from Food Train is all going well.

Not only do all these roles ensure that older people are given the support and friendship they need but all roles are flexible, remote and home based, no requirement to come in to our Food Train offices. Recruitment, induction and training are all completed remotely too.

At Food Train our mission is to support older people to eat well, age well and live well in their own homes as long as they wish, anyone interested in helping us with our mission by joining our team of amazing remote volunteers can find out more and sign up here

There really is something for everyone.



I have almost 25 years experience in being a remote worker and managing remote teams so when Covid forced many to become remote workers I found my expertise and insight in this area being called upon. Many organisations are now maintaining the remote working model that has developed over the past 18 months, however many people are needing some support with this. Therefore I was recently asked to run an online masterclass for those new to remote working. 
The first masterclass was popular and well received. I covered all aspects of remote working including wellbeing, technology, office equipment, communication and even terminology (remote/home/flexi/hybrid/dispersed/agile/ asynchronous???)
It was so popular that I am now planning another online masterclass in the next couple of months. If you would like to find out more or to have a place held for either yourself or anyone on your team then please email
Thank you.  
#RemoteWork #Training #Masterclass #WellbeingAtWork


Home working isn’t really like this.

As the world went in to lockdown and workplaces closed their doors, there was a sudden rush for employees to set up as homeworkers if they could. Spare rooms were commandeered, kitchen tables cleared, a corner of the bedroom tidied up. Tech was needed to be set up, laptops, mobile phones, printers, logging in to the organisation’s system, what about webcams, GDPR, IT support, office stationery? As all this was going on around me amongst my colleagues, friends, family and the wider world the one thought in my head was ‘welcome to my world’.

I have been a home-based worker for over 20 years with several different organisations. I’ve worked in the spare room, a corner of the bedroom and at the kitchen table. I find it an ideal working environment, I’m at my most productive and creative when working like this and leading remote teams has been a pleasure and has proven to be a highly effective route to innovation and productivity.

However, during the lockdown period home-based working has had to go to the extreme. Zoom meetings, webinars, online training, conference calls, virtual networking, WhatsApp groups, screen sharing, phone catch ups, Facebook live, Slack chats, Yammer messaging – the list goes on and on….

I compare my current home- based work to my previous home- based work and I miss all the face to face interaction, the team meetings, the networking events, the staff one to ones, the conferences, the training sessions, meetings with sector peers, funders, supporters, volunteers and charity beneficiaries.

To everyone who has been forced in to a home working situation and is struggling with the isolation and the necessary tech based communication I just want to say it’s not really like this, it’s really not! Home- based working, although based at home also needs to include all that human interaction that feeds the soul and sparks creativity.

I look forward to the day when we can get back to some form of that essential human contact as it has become crystal clear to me that a key part of being a home-based worker is that you don’t spend all your time at home and the times away from home are essential.

If you plan to continue being a home-based worker after lockdown and are concerned about maintaining this current working model, don’t worry, it isn’t really like this.