Social Enterprise Day 2012: Crest Co-operative – Steve works around the clock
My name is Steve Higgott and I am a supervisor for the food poverty project FareShare North Wales. I have been working for the social enterprise Crest Co-operative for 4 years. FareShare North Wales is run by Crest Co-operative. We work with the food industry to save in-date food from landfill. The food provides meals for hundreds of vulnerable people across North Wales.
No day is ever the same and it is great to start out your working day knowing that you are making a difference to the lives of some of the most disadvantaged people in North Wales.
I work with a team of dedicated volunteers and people from different backgrounds who take part in work placements at Crest Co-operative. These individuals are often unemployed or have learning disabilities. Working with a fantastic team of people is one of the things that I enjoy most about my job!
9am – I arrive at work and already have a team of volunteers ready to start their daily duties. We start the day by having a meeting and discuss where we will be travelling to. My team of staff consists of a van driver, a warehouse cleaner, van driver’s assistants and staff who stock take and pick orders. We get the day started by looking at our list of stock and picking orders, which will be delivered to community groups, supporting homeless and vulnerable people. We pick tinned food, cereals, frozen food, fruit and bottled water.
10am – By this time we are ready to start our daily deliveries. We deliver to different community groups every day and have 27 community food members. These are community groups who support disadvantaged people. On this particular day I am delivering food to five community groups. Myself and one assistant will be travelling to Llandudno, which is a 10 minute car drive from our depot. Our first stop is a homeless drop- in centre. We are met at the door by a team of friendly staff, including the drop-in-centres kitchen staff. They are keen to see what we are delivering and are already deciding how they will use the produce to create nutritious meals for the centre’s homeless service users.
11am – We arrive at a drop in centre, which supports people who are suffering from mental health issues. Today the staff will be putting together food parcels with our delivery. This will ensure that their service users are eating a healthy, balanced diet. Our next stop is a residential centre for adults with learning disabilities. We take the food to the kitchen, much to the delight of the chef, who is keen to start preparing a fresh lunch for the adults.
12 noon – We deliver five crates of food to a day centre for the elderly. Our last stop is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre. We chat to the staff, who are creating an exciting pasta lunch for their service users from FareShare produce.
1pm – It’s back to our Llandudno Junction depot, just in time for lunch.
2pm – We clean the warehouse and ensure that all food is still in-date. We accept deliveries from local food suppliers, who have surplus stock that they would like to donate to vulnerable people.
3pm – We work as a team to do a stock take of the FareShare warehouse.
4pm – I visit a homeless hostel to carry out a health and safety audit. The audit is a success and they become a new community food member!
5pm – Finish the warehouse duties and thank my team of volunteers.
For more information on Crest Co-operative, visit http://crestcooperative.co.uk/ and follow on Twitter @Crestrecycle.