Volunteer with The Hornbeam

As a community hub running on a very limited budget we couldn’t survive without our volunteers. They are the heart and soul of the Hornbeam.

Whether you want to learn something new, or you have a specific skill you’d like to share – we’d love to hear from you! All our current volunteering opportunities are listed below.

Fill in this Volunteer Sign-up Form and let us know at volunteering@hornbeam.org.uk when you have done so. Or you can always drop by the cafe and say hello. 


FOOD RESCUE PROJECT:

Would you like to help save quality surplus food from landfill and get it into the hands and bellies of your local community instead? There are three main ways to do this as part of the Hornbeam’s Food Rescue Project: as a community cook, as a surplus food sorter, or as a surplus grocery stall holder. Read more about these roles below.

Food Rescue Project: Community cook

Every Monday we cook up a tasty community meal, all prepared using rescued ingredients that were destined for landfill! At 1pm we serve up, eat together, and welcome anyone who would like to join us for a donations-based vegan lunch.

We never know quite what ingredients we will get so have to be creative and adaptable. Is this a challenge you would enjoy? Would you like to share your cooking skills with others, or gain more confidence cooking nutritious, vegan food? Do you just enjoy cooking with and for others?

Meet every Monday, 10.00am at the Hornbeam Cafe

What does it involve?

  • Cook a community meal from surplus ingredients as part of a team of 3-4 volunteers
  • Eat together, feel a part of your local community, and make nutritious food more accessible to those at risk of social isolation
  • Share skills with each other and improve your own ability to reduce food waste
  • Contribute to reducing good food being wasted in our borough, building a more resilient community and caring for our environment collectively

Food Rescue Project: Surplus food sorter

Could you help the Hornbeam continue to be a local hub for surplus food redistribution? Are you organised and practical? Get involved as a surplus food sorter to make sure all the food we receive ends up in bellies, not landfill!

When & Where: Monday: 10.00am at the Hornbeam Cafe

What does it involve?

  • Take deliveries of surplus food and record incoming quantities
  • Pack crates of surplus food for redistribution
  • Provide our community cooks, stall holders, and community cafe with ingredients
  • Become a food sorting coordinator to train others in the role

Food Rescue Project: Stall holder

We currently run three surplus grocery stalls each week: two outside the Hornbeam and one at Friday Hill TMO in Chingford.

These pay-what-you-feel stalls are a chance for us to engage and involve our wider community with the social and environmental issues around food waste and overproduction, helping us to make change from the bottom up. All are welcome to take from the stalls, reducing good food going to landfill and saving some pennies in the process.

When & Where: 

  • Monday: 10.00am at the Hornbeam Cafe
  • Tuesday: 1.30pm at Friday Hill TMO
  • Wednesday: 11.00am at the Hornbeam Cafe

What does it involve?

  • Set up the stall with table and information display
  • Keep the stall stocked up with surplus food
  • Chat with local community about food waste reduction, share insights, and answer questions about the project
  • Discuss ways to get involved with the Hornbeam’s projects with those interested

GOOD DEEDS ON BIKES

Hornbeam’s ‘Good Deeds on Bikes’ cycling volunteers pick up surplus food from local businesses on their bikes and drop it off at the Hornbeam Centre where it is sorted and then redistributed (often by our cycling volunteers) within the local community. 

In this way we rescue lots of food from landfill and redirect it to those who need to most all in a really environmentally-friendly and sustainable way.

When: Various times Monday-Saturday 

Where: On your bike around Walthamstow 

What does it involve?

  • Cycle to a local shop to pick up surplus food and return it to the Hornbeam
  • Pick up food from the Hornbeam and deliver it to a local food bank or community centre
  • Take on a regular collection or be involved on an ad hoc basis via our WhatsApp group
  • Regular socials for our ‘Good Deeds on Bikes’ volunteers to meet up

WALK LEADER

Would you like to support people to get active and improve their wellbeing? Are you passionate about making people feel welcome and get them to enjoy our natural world? Join us as a walk leader for our weekly walks.

When & Where:

  • Monday: 9.30am Leyton Jubilee Park – Women-only
  • Monday: 11am Friday Hill TMO – everyone welcome

What does it involve?

  • Join our walks every Monday or as often as you can
  • Get trained as a certified walk leader (available every 3 months)
  • Design & plan walks
  • Chat to walkers and build a sense of community

SOCIAL MEDIA & COMMS VOLUNTEER

Would you like to help get more people involved in their community through the Hornbeam? Have you got talent for catchy content and design? Join our friendly team at the Hornbeam office.

When: half a day on Thursday or Friday

Where: The Hornbeam Centre office

What does it involve?

  • Produce social media content and schedule posts
  • Promote upcoming events, volunteering opportunities, etc
  • Share community stories through our various platforms
  • Design flyers and promotional materials

A few other things we’re looking for:

  • Attend a Hornbeam DIY fix up day
  • Take photos of our events and bring our projects to life
  • Help The Hornbeam get in local media
  • Organise a community film night
  • Help us run events, like Apple Day
  • Run a workshop for the community

You can also get involved with other activities we are linked to:

at OrganicLea

  • Veg Box Packer (E4)
  • Cycle and Van Delivery Volunteer
  • Stall Volunteer (Hornbeam E17 or Leytonstone)
  • Horticultural Assistant (E4)
  • and many more… (see website)

at Forest Recycling Project (FRP)

Our sister organisation, Forest Recycling Project, are looking for  volunteers to work with their paint, wood or textile crafts project.  More keep volunteering voluntary

The Hornbeam is a signatory to the
keep volunteering voluntary‘ agreement

Community cafe, event space and environment centre // 458 Hoe Street, Walthamstow, E17 9AH // 020 8558 6880