Meet our Volunteers – Colin

Dandelion Time

21 February 2023

  • How did you first get involved with Dandelion Time and how long have you volunteered with us?

My wife went to an Open Day last year and spoke to me about the charity. I offered to help with the gardening, but once I said that I had helped at the Maidstone Churches Winter Shelter and had certificates for food safety, I was asked to help as a chef! I have always enjoyed cooking but have no formal training.  I started volunteering at Dandelion Time in the autumn of 2022.

  • What do you do as a volunteer? Describe a typical session

I work on Tuesdays from 9.00 to 1.30 in the kitchen. I prepare healthy food for the families and workers and serve it at 12.00. There are usually 3 or 4 families present at each session. It is nice when the families help with the food preparation and get involved in discussions about what they’d like to eat the following week. After we have decided what we plan to cook the next week, I check the store cupboard and put any shopping requirements onto the group What’s App for one of the staff to order in.

  • What do you enjoy most about your role?

There is a very positive happy atmosphere at Dandelion Time and it is nice to be part of the team working with families. It is always nice to see the families learning how to make dishes such as pizzas, pasta and biscuits.

  • What have been the highlights for you?

It was great to cook on the campfire one week and get the chance to enjoy the wonderful grounds and see the animals.

  • Any funny moments?

Being asked on the day to prepare nachos in the style of a Tik Tok video that one of the children had found was a challenge for all of us, but we managed it!

  • Any tricky moments?

After working for only two weeks, I was asked to come in for an additional session and cook for the trustees who were meeting. This was a little daunting to envisage preparing a meal for 25 important people!

  • Would you recommend volunteering at Dandelion Time and why?

I enjoy working in the friendly and supportive environment at Dandelion Time and like to help the families who attend. I am looking forward to being able to use the space outdoors in the Spring.

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