Why I Volunteer

Why I Volunteer

Sharon Taylor

I started volunteering for Wakefield Street Kitchen around Christmas 2019. The last few months have been a whirlwind.

We were initially feeding the homeless in Wakefield, but Wakefield Council took over doing this and so, we started making sandwiches etc and I was baking for the emergency services and NHS staff. 

This started with the five Covid wards at Pinderfields hospital and grew to paramedics, police, the fire services and we are now donating hot meals to patrons at Marsh Way. I loved adding lots of my baking to the donations, as I wanted it to have a homely feel. I have been delivering the donations by hand and am so grateful to all the emergency services and NHS staff. My colleague even dressed up as the Easter bunny and we took donated Easter eggs to the staff day care facility at Pinderfields.

I received so many lovely responses from the nurses at Pinderfields Hospital; doing this has helped me as much as it helped them. I would have become just another statistic, lonely at home, but this gave me purpose! I love baking and have been shopping locally- in smaller shops, as much as I can. I haven’t had much trouble sourcing ingredients, only once I couldn’t find yeast for bread cakes!

We still don’t know when Wakefield Street Kitchen will be able to resume donations in the centre of Wakefield, it would be difficult to maintain distancing in queues and such. However, I’m so glad that we have been able to utilize food donations etc from supermarkets like Asda and Morrisons and maintained a meaningful service to the Emergency Services throughout the pandemic.

It means so much to me to be able to give back to them. The NHS got most of the recognition throughout, so when I started doing food drop-offs to the local police, they were so very thankful and grateful for the recognition. It was lovely to be part of; to give back. I have also made lifelong friends, working alongside The Real Junk Food volunteers, we utilized the kitchen in their container area and formed close bonds.

The local responses have been astounding- how everyone has stepped up. Helping with this has given me and so many others, something to focus on. I still think I got more out of it than I’ve done. A nurse at Pinderfields told me that what I had been doing was amazing! I got so emotional because, in my eyes they are the ones that have been doing all the incredible work through this. I go back to work soon but I plan on carrying on my volunteer work for Wakefield Street Kitchen as much as I can.