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Barnsley Man Who Mentors Others Wins National Volunteering Award
FareShare Commercial Director Alyson Walsh (left) with Lee Harper, winner of FareShare’s Leadership in Volunteering Award
Lee Hall, who used his volunteering experience to mentor and lead other volunteers at a food charity in Barnsley, has won the Leadership in Volunteering award at the national FareShare Volunteering Awards in Birmingham.

Lee Hall started volunteering with FareShare Yorkshire over two years ago and, after completing his QCF in warehousing and storage, has grown into a confident leader. Lee cares deeply for the other volunteers and compassionately supports, trains and marshals up to 20 volunteers a day.

Sponsored by Asda, the annual awards are held by FareShare, the UK’s largest food redistribution charity, to recognise the outstanding work of its volunteers who take good quality food that would otherwise have gone to waste, and sort, pack and deliver it to frontline charities.

Last year FareShare Yorkshire redistributed enough food to create almost two million meals for people in need.

“Lee is a wonderful guy, a gentle giant who’s incredibly committed,” says FS Yorkshire’s Volunteer Manager Jonathan Williams. “He’s usually the first person on site and when I lock up at the end of the day he’s usually still helping until everyone’s left. He’s incredibly kind and patient with all the volunteers who don’t know how things work. I think he’s just a great ambassador for FareShare.”

Lee’s patience and kindness has been essential to helping large numbers of volunteers settle in and feeling part of the team. The Barnsley-based depot has a strong connection with local branches of charities such as Autism Plus and Mencap, and every eight weeks a new intake of vulnerable volunteers arrive from these and other local organisations.

“A lot of them can be very anxious, reserved and lacking in confidence,” Jonathan continues. “It’s a strange environment and they’re not sure they can operate a forklift truck or do the training. Lee sets a brilliant example by showing them how they can develop their skills and professionalism. In the warehouse he leads all the picking in an afternoon and is really good at sharing out work and helping people. He never loses his cool and when charities come to collect food nothing’s too much trouble.”

Volunteer Manager Jonathan Williams was also highly commended in the Volunteer Manager category. He was praised for designing a bespoke Employability Programme, and for helping 18 volunteers move on to paid work in the past year.

If you’d like to help get good quality surplus food to charities in your community find out more about volunteering at FareShare on their website www.fareshare.org.uk/volunteering

Barnsley Man Who Mentors Others Wins National Volunteering Award, 2nd October 2019, 9:31 AM