Why volunteering for the Feast rocks!


What drew me to volun­teer for the Feast was the ‘people-powered’ aspect. In what are for most people chal­len­ging and uncer­tain times, I think it’s so import­ant that com­munit­ies stick togeth­er, wheth­er it’s sup­port­ing local busi­nesses or just mak­ing life a bit more fun. The Feast does both very well and that was clear from brows­ing the site and its ‘people’ pages. Sud­denly what had formerly been to me a post­code, and a tired look­ing high street with the usual signs of a reces­sion, was start­ing to morph into a bunch of really great people with ima­gin­a­tion and energy — and a pro­ject with massive poten­tial.

Space Makers, who’ve kick-star­ted the pro­ject, are a trio of guys full of pos­it­iv­ity and warmth. Those sen­ti­ments have seeped into the wider group of volun­teers. Never are you pres­sured into any­thing you don’t want to do – at least I don’t feel I am! You just end up doing things because the pro­ject and people are fant­ast­ic. Hell, I’ve not been up at 6am help­ing put stalls up yet but after inter­view­ing some of the guys that do, I quite want to now!

I really look for­ward to the weekly meet­ings in The Rail­way pub – wheth­er it’s chat­ting through social media and mar­ket­ing strategies or divvy­ing up labour for Feast days. Everyone’s ideas are listened to and there’s always laughter, usu­ally beer and often cakes!

There are a mil­lion things to help out with (see this video for exactly what!). Per­son­ally, I’m using my film­ing and edit­ing skills to cre­ate video content (amongst oth­ers) and help­ing run Feast’s Facebook and Twitter, which echoes what I do as a job and means I’m apply­ing my know­ledge and also find­ing inspir­a­tion all the time. I’m also crowd-sourcing foot­age for a pro­mo­tion­al film cap­tur­ing the spir­it and the people who are the Feast. What I love about my par­tic­u­lar role is that in chat­ting to my fel­low volun­teers, stall-hold­ers and the people of West Nor­wood with my cam­era, I’m get­ting to hear first-hand how much this monthly event is enjoyed and val­ued by every­body, and it makes me feel good to know I’m a part of that!

Sev­er­al months down the line, the Feast has garnered a palp­able energy and I don’t mean just once a month on a Sunday. Every week we uncov­er more pos­sib­il­it­ies and plan how to grow the pro­ject into a sus­tain­able and integ­ral part of West Nor­wood life. The Feast is a bit like an excited child that’s just arrived at a birth­day party and seen all their friends and all that cake. I feel a bit like that too! I also love the fact I’ve made some really lovely friends already, many of whom share a love of beer and good con­ver­sa­tion!

If you’re think­ing of volun­teer­ing for the Feast, I say just do it! You’ll have some­thing bril­liant to offer, even if you can’t think what it might be! You’ll be wel­comed and included and you’ll really make a dif­fer­ence. And you just might see 6am on a Sunday once a month! You can even do your bit right now! Share the video to all your local friends. We’d be made up. Or come and say some nice words on cam­era if you see me har­ing about next Feast with my kit in tow.

If you’d like to volun­teer check out our Volunteer page and get in touch!

This blog was writ­ten by Feast volun­teer and film maker Emily Cum­ming @emileecee

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