Volunteer with us
Our volunteers have provided more than 1.4 million free meals to people in need across Edinburgh. We'd love it if you could join our community.
As a first step please fill out the sections below. Tell us about your previous work experience, your availability, and how to reach you. You can find more information about our different volunteer roles beneath the form. Please note, to volunteer with us you must be 16 years of age or older.
Volunteer Application Form
Join the Team
We have five main shift types - Delivery (car/bike), Kitchen Porter, Kitchen Assistant, Cleaning and Packing.
We also have additional admin roles that require some training or experience in Logistics, Volunteer Engagement, Rota Management and Welcome Desk teams.
We have an array of shifts in the morning, afternoon, and evening as well as shorter and longer shifts.
Volunteers can sign up for shifts up to a month in advance, using our rota software called RotaCentral. We like to keep things very flexible to accommodate everyone’s availability.
Delivery - car or bike
A delivery shift will generally cover a maximum of 25 stops depending on your route, method of transport and amount of people volunteering that day.
If you are volunteering as a cyclist or driver, you must have your own bike or car. This role involves use of a smartphone with internet access as this is how your delivery route is distributed. You must be comfortable using simple technology such as satnav within Google maps.
We also have a van which can be driven by anyone over 25, but only if you have first done a number of delivery shifts so you are familiar with the procedure.
Kitchen Porters (KPs)
The Kitchen Porter role supports our chefs to free up their time to focus on cooking. This involves dish-washing in a dedicated area adjoining our kitchen. There can be some heavy lifting and using our commercial dishwasher. KPs may also assist with basic food preparation such as washing, peeling, and chopping vegetables.
Our Kitchen Assistant role is for either professional chefs or simply those who have some kitchen experience. The role involves preparing meals on a large scale and we make soups and mains for our service users. Our kitchen is a busy place, with a fabulous team who do remarkable work. Our Kitchen Volunteers create meals based on whatever food has been recently donated, so our menu can be hugely varied and require creative and resourceful cooking.
Empty Kitchens Full Hearts also runs an in-house Kitchen Assistant Program aligned to the National Progression Award. This is the perfect role for those interested in gaining food and kitchen skills, and participants gain a Level 2 Food Hygiene Certificate as well as invaluable experience. Kitchen Assistants get the opportunity to work with our professional chefs and learn a variety of skills.
The cleaning shift is a nice short, 2-hour shift which is great for anyone who wants to support us but who doesn’t have a lot of time to give. It involves sweeping and mopping the hall, foyer, corridors and toilets. Our cleaning volunteers are really essential to our operations in allowing us to maintain a hygienic food-handling environment throughout the building.
Running a charitable organisation requires administration support across the Welcome Desk, Logistics, Rota Management and Volunteer engagement teams.
These roles require a regular weekly commitment.
We sometimes need additional assistance in areas such as web design (Wix based), social media, graphic design, Google Suite and fundraising. So, please just let us know when you apply if you can assist with any of these areas.
Our packing shifts consist of turning the cooked meals into individual portions and meal packs. It is a varied role and you can be doing anything from slicing bread to labelling allergens, to sanitising crates, cleaning, or unloading deliveries.