Lifeafterhummus Community Benefit Society
Thanks to a team of 50 local volunteers supporting a small team of 3 people we run a surplus foodbank very close to UCL campuses in Somers Town (NW1 1ES) just north of the Euston Road behind the British Library. We collect surplus from circa 45 local supermarkets and stores every week using a mixture of hand carts, bicycle trailers, cargo bike and cars. This surplus is sorted thru at our surplus…

Thanks to a team of 50 local volunteers supporting a small team of 3 people we run a surplus foodbank very close to UCL campuses in Somers Town (NW1 1ES) just north of the Euston Road behind the British Library. We collect surplus from circa 45 local supermarkets and stores every week using a mixture of hand carts, bicycle trailers, cargo bike and cars. This surplus is sorted thru at our surplus foodbank and redistributed to 80 local households who visit the foodbank. Our volunteers also take the surplus and redistribute it to support 11 local hostels, 1 after-school club and a church group. Due to the nature of mixture transport: 36% of our collections are carbon avoided and 72% of redistribution is carbon avoided. We take in circa 15 tonnes of surplus food every quarter! Food and packaging that would have otherwise gone to waste/ incineration. We also operate a surplus cart outside for member of the public to engage with. The rise in energy bills means that there are many people in need in the local area. Just under half of all those we support in-house are children; circa 125. Our beneficiaries are hard-to reach communities and have English as an additional language. Mostly Somali and Bengali households. Thanks to volunteers we have been able to support some homes back into employment. The majority of people prior to the pandemic worked in the service and hospitality industry. We have so many opportunities for volunteers to engage with. What we ask from you is an 'intersectional' approach to how you treat people and a commitment to a regular shift on a weekly or two weekly basis. Do check out our instagram for more information.

These particular opportunities are for you to engage with local residents by:

  • Volunteering at our monthly clothing swap which is on the 3rd Saturday of every month.
  • Mending items of clothing brought by the public to the clothing swap on the 3rd Saturday of every month.
  • To help repair items of clothing that have come in donated and require some mending that we consider worth fixing.
  • To take textile waste and sew them into tote bags to for the surplus foodbank.
  • Harvesting haberdashery (hardware) from textile waste.

Time commitment

Our clothing swap is on the 3rd Saturday of every month. Set-up begins at 12.30pm, the swap takes place 1.30pm to 4pm and set-down is from 4pm-5pm. We would expect you to volunteer regularly; monthly. For those doing clothing repairs please arrive by 1pm to get the sewing machines set-up. And set-down of the machines is from 4pm until 4.45pm roughly. As there will be thread to put away and other accessories to be arranged back neatly.
Clothes mending (No fixed time/ day), Tote bag making and Haberdashery harvesting can be done on a Thursdsay, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday between 11.30am until 5.30pm. It does not have to be regular volunteering but we would expect you to do at least one session a month. You can do this alone or in pairs. You can have your headphones on or engage with others. You can sit in the heart of the centre or in our quiet room. It is your choice.
What measures have you put in place to ensure volunteers’ safety during COVID-19?
We also ask that volunteers take the rapid/ lateral flow testing prior to their shift (Camden are still providing test kits to the centre which we can provide to you) ** Mask wearing is mandatory at the centre as some of our users are fighting Cancer, have HIV, etc. This is to protect them. ** We can provide you with masks, gloves and hand sanitiser.

This organisation is one of our community partner organisations.

Like all volunteer recruiters we work with, they have signed up to our service standards, agreeing to abide by our policy on partnership working.

In addition, the team here at Students’ Union UCL Volunteering Service is here to support you throughout your volunteering journey – you can get in touch at any time with any questions, queries or problems you encounter.