my example

Bags of Taste

Bags of Taste logo

Bags of Taste is an award-winning, research-driven non-profit working with people in or at risk of food poverty.

Cooking Mentor at award-winning food education programme 2020/21

This opportunity takes place between 26 Apr 2021 and 21 Jun 2021.

Interested in cooking? Here's an opportunity to work with a leading food poverty organisation to change the lives of participants and even improve your own kitchen skills! **VIRTUAL COURSES STARTING ON A WEEKLY BASIS FROM APRIL 2021 - START AT A TIME CONVENIENT FOR YOU** Bags of Taste is an award winning food education programme working with people in food poverty to improve their diets, finances and physical and mental wellbeing. We’re very successful at changing what people eat, giving thousands of people the tools they need to move away from regularly buying takeaways and ready meals to cooking tasty and nutritious home-cooked food from around the world on a budget! We need mentor cooks to guide our students through our new virtual courses. Could that be you? Please get in touch!

Interested in cooking, helping others cook healthy food on a budget, and connecting with people?

Bags of Taste is an award-winning food education programme helping participants change their diets to improve their finances, physical and mental wellbeing by cooking tasty, healthy, take-away beating meals from scratch for just £1 a head. Now our free cooking and food budgeting classes have gone virtual. Instead of face-to-face teaching, we deliver our courses virtually via WhatsApp, Facebook, email, and phone. We provide participants with free ingredients to help them complete the course.

We need volunteer cook mentors to guide students through a short virtual course incorporating essential cooking skills, carefully selected recipes and meal planning tips using the trademark ingredients bags that we deliver to their homes. Over the 2 week virtual course, volunteer cook mentors are responsible for keeping in contact with a small group of students in a friendly chat, providing practical and moral support, cooking guidance, motivation, feedback and encouragement, and managing peer to peer interaction.  This may be one-to-one over the phone or on social media/email. We provide full training and online resources, and you are always supported by an experienced staff member.

We also need volunteers to deliver essential ingredient bags to participants - if you have a car or other mode of transport good for delivering shopping, this is a really great way you can help out. This will involve collecting between 1-3 bags from our pick-up location and transporting them to the participants' homes.

Mentoring students and guiding them through the material is really essential to them being able to complete the course and learn valuable life-changing skills - your role is incredibly important!

As a volunteer, you can join our amazing Facebook group where you can watch our course tutors doing live cooking demonstrations and where you will have access to all of our delicious recipes from around the world specially designed to be tasty, affordable and simple to make!

If this sounds like something you'd enjoy, please get in touch!

** Virtual courses will be starting on a weekly basis from the end of April onwards, so start at a time convenient for you**

* Please note that fluency in English is essential to the mentoring role; if your English is not fluent, you can still help out with delivering essential ingredient bags to students. *

What skills do I need?

An interest in cooking is advantageous - you don't need to be a Master Chef - just able to follow simple recipes. Having good communication skills and an outgoing, open-minded personality, and a willingness to chat is essential, as is sensitivity towards people living with hardship (potentially including physical and mild learning difficulties). Fluency in English is essential to the mentoring role. However, the bag delivery is open to anyone.

What will I gain?

You will be an essential part of an award-winning project tackling food poverty, health inequality and social isolation and a supportive and encouraging voice in someone's life, helping them to make a meaningful change. It is an opportunity to make some new friends either with other volunteers or participants on the course. You can also join our wonderful Facebook community, where you will have access to all the Bags of Taste recipes from around the world - all of which are tasty, nutritious, simple to make and can be cooked on a small budget!

Training and support

You will be given all the training and support you will need. We will provide you with all the necessary material and resources before you start mentoring with us. All the mentors can join our volunteer Facebook group and volunteer WhatsApp group to share thoughts, ideas and questions. The programme lead (Sara) will support you throughout should you have any uncertainties, questions or difficulties at all.

Time commitment

Volunteer mentors will need to commit to mentoring their students through a complete course; this takes two weeks and around an hour of your time each week. After the student(s) have completed the course, you can choose to start again straight away, take a break or stop completely.







DBS (criminal records) check



The courses are provided remotely via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, phone or email.
  • CausesFoodbanks and food poverty, Poverty and social justice, Social isolation
  • FrequencyEvery week
  • WhenMonday morning, Monday afternoon, Monday evening, Tuesday morning, Tuesday afternoon, Tuesday evening, Wednesday morning, Wednesday afternoon, Wednesday evening, Thursday morning, Thursday afternoon, Thursday evening, Friday morning, Friday afternoon, Friday evening, Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, Saturday evening, Sunday morning, Sunday afternoon, Sunday evening
  • Skills and InterestsBefriending, Communication skills, Driving, Mentoring
  • Careers and AspirationsSocial work, Teaching, Third sector and charity work

Featured Opportunities

Spring into Action, with our 4 Weeks of Action campaign

We are raising awareness and understanding of 4 key themes and their Sheffield context : Food Poverty, Loneliness, Nature & Wildlife, and Refugees & Asylum Seekers. There are lots of ways to get involved with in-person or remote volunteer roles, and join our campaign on social media!

Volunteering Celebration Event!

The Volunteering Committee invites you to the annual Volunteering Celebration Night on Thursday 22nd April, 7 pm - 8 pm, via Zoom! It has been an unusual academic year, but this is a night of celebrating and appreciating all your hard work and contributions to Sheffield Volunteering. Fill out this form to attend.

Volunteer from home

We are all facing stricter socialising regulations but you can stay connected to Sheffield and its communities, by volunteering with a local Sheffield charity remotely! Check out these remote volunteering opportunities...