Get to know our volunteer team.
I began volunteering at the foodbank when I retired from teaching in 2016. I taught Sociology but was Assistant Principal of Stockton Sixth Form College and responsible for the Student Support System when I left. I subsequently retrained as a Humanist funeral celebrant. I also volunteer at the North East Refugee Service, which gives advice and support to refugees. I’m a keen walker and member of the Ramblers. I love to sing and am a member of Middlesbrough Town Hall Choir. I’m also a member of the Labour Party and would like nothing more than to live in a society in which we don’t need food banks!
My name is Erica, I am a Fine Art graduate. I first heard of the foodbank through a friend and offered my spare time. I did not prepare myself for the difference this would make to my life. I strongly believe most of our societies’ big issues could be solved through a team effort and shared empathy. Middlesbrough Foodbank is just like a little family that is so vital to our community and one of the few places left still making a difference to those who have nowhere left to turn.
I was a teacher in prison education for eight years and I was a lecturer/curriculum leader at Stockton Riverside college for twelve years working with students presenting challenging behaviour wanting to return to the world of work. I lived and worked in Nigeria in an engineering capacity on a gas butanisation project and was also Director of an Industry Rehabilitation Unit to support people who wanted to return to work after illness. I’m married with three grown girls.
I like walking, cycling, shooting, and photography.
I have previously worked in education for over 30 years , which I thoroughly enjoyed. I love all things ‘crafty,’ such as knitting, sewing and also baking. I have always been involved in church work and activities and I am a member at Great Ayton Methodist Church. Until lockdown, I was a regular member of the Community Lunch Team, providing hot meals to (mainly) elderly in the village. I also led a Coffee & Crafts group, based at church, for the community. The suspension of church activities due to COVID-19 restrictions has enabled me to join the foodbank team, which I really enjoy.
I’m married to Lorna, we have two children Bethany and Luke. They still reside with us and both are trained lifeguards but both do other stuff as well. I became involved with foodbank for quite a few reasons, I will shortly be old enough to collect a government pension, so I have the time to give. But because of the way we lived our married lives for so many years I know how it is to live with fixed income, low wages and children. Therefore, I want to help out in an area I had experience in. I was for many years the home maker and child carer. My wife went to work and I was the house husband with two children under two. Living on benefits is not easy and learning to rely on benefits is even worse, because as the children become teenagers families lose benefits.
Due in part to my lifestyle I became a pretty useful cook in the kitchen; my wife would come home to home-cooked meals most nights. My church connections found me running pancake parties and agape meals. I also became rather proficient at large cake baking.
I am 56 and live in Marton, with my foster child Coral-Jane. My beautiful, wonderful husband, Brian, passed away not long ago. I have been volunteering about 5 years, mainly due to the fact that my beautiful friend and fellow volunteer, Sarah, is amazing and is a joy to be around and help.
My skill sets are; organisational skills, being a control freak, a great caterer, financial whizz, and having the support of a wonderful family and friends. I am an animal lover, a knitaholic and sewaholic, have a great sense of humour and have empathy and understanding of others.
I retired from the Police 14 years ago and since then I have devoted my time with voluntary roles for a number of charities, including 10 years as a bereavement support worker. My main roles have been within the Great Ayton Methodist Church and the Darlington Methodist District. I have been facilitating Safeguarding Training courses across the North East region. I lead worship as a local preacher in the church, as well as engage with members and friends in house group, and also with various committees. During the COVID-19 pandemic I have been shopping for elderly people and after hearing that Foodbank were seeking volunteers from those under 70’s, I saw this as an area I could contribute to.
I am a retired Social Worker and also have experience of fundraising, delivering training to foster carers and adopters and supervising volunteers. I am also very involved in the Labour Party and am the Women’s Officer in my Constituency of Richmond (Yorks). (Our MP Is Rishi Sunak!) I am particularly interested in how poverty, especially in the COVID-19 pandemic, disproportionately affects women.
I attend St. Barnabas Church and help at Holy Trinity North Ormesby. I have been volunteering since shortly after the start of the first lockdown back in Spring 2020.
I attend St. Barnabas Church and help at Holy Trinity North Ormesby. I have volunteered since 2013 at HTNO and now work as a team with Campbell as we can work together in the food store.
I used to serve in the British Army in the Parachute Regiment. The last 13 years I have been working offshore as a Scaffolder. In late 2015 I became a born again believer in Christ Jesus and received the Holy Spirit which has been an amazing experience. Don’t worry, I am not a fruitcake, God is real and wants a relationship with YOU!
I have been with Middlesbrough Foodbank since December 2020. I volunteered to help out Foodbank over the festive period during the COVID-19 lockdown through my church. It was busy time for the Foodbank who do a great job for those who are struggling. I love to serve the community and meet new people. I also love to travel and be active in a wide range of sports and hobbies, with my favourite being scuba diving.
Volunteer at Coulby Newham and Grove Hill foodbank centres. I have been a volunteer with the Trussel Trust since 2011 – firstly in Oswestry (Shropshire) until I moved to Middlesbrough in 2016. I am a retired secondary school teacher and a member of Coulby Newham Baptist Church. I also volunteer at Open Door North East. My interests include hill walking, photography, gardening, and sailing. I moved to Middlesbrough to be near my two granddaughters and I love living here.
JOEL & HANNAH
We work at Coulby Newham Baptist Church as youth and community workers. Originally we’re from the States but met in the UK and got married in 2019.
I have been volunteering for Foodbank for 6 years now. I was asked by a member of my church if I would like to help out at MCC’s Foodbank. I got totally involved and loved every minute of it. Knowing I was serving my community and helping others was a real blessing to me. I also got involved with helping at the warehouse 4 years ago. It’s great to be part of both teams and I’ve learnt a lot about myself in doing so. I’m now the Centre Lead of MCC’s food bank and have the support of my amazing team and church behind me. I’m super happy to be part of Trussel Trust Foodbanks.
I was born a Geordie but have lived in the Boro most of my life. I was known as “professor” at school (courtesy of NHS specs) and as DACO most of my working life (my initials). I served my apprenticeship in engineering and later joined the purchasing team at ICI and its successors on contracts and services for the rest of my working life. I retired in 2012 to do volunteer work at the Hospice and Church shop before taking a carer role for 5 years. Married in 1972 and widowed in 2020. Outside interests were ballroom dancing for 45 years and now walking and birdwatching. Beware, I tell awful jokes.
I work offshore as an instrument technician. When I’m not at work I’m fortunate to have lots of spare time, and so volunteering has always been something I’ve been interested in doing. I’m very grateful to have been given the opportunity to work with such a great team at Middlesbrough Foodbank and to be able to give back to the local community.