Hi everyone - @Mani and I discussed having an online meeting for all those who’ve come forward to volunteer for the project so they can ‘meet’ each other, we can get feedback and can start on-boarding people. my proposal is this takes place this coming Wednesday evening at 6.30pm on jitsi.
I’ve drafted an e-mail for this and also explaining the different roles people can take on. I’ll post it here for comments:
Hello fellow Brummies!
We’re getting in touch because you have either already been volunteering to help us or have gotten in touch to offer your help. Thank you so much for all of your hard work so far, we really appreciate you!
So far we’ve delivered over 500 meals around Birmingham (rough guess, not exact figure!). We have only been running for about a week now and have already seen a very rapid expansion and uptake which has been amazing.
We called out for more volunteers because we want to keep going, get even bigger and provide even more people with the food they need. We are a cooperative project which means nobody is in charge and anyone can take on as much or as little responsibility as they want. We also don’t gate-keep who can get food and who can’t – we’re just for our community and helping one another.
We want to invite all of you to an open online meeting taking place this Wednesday evening (08/04/20) at 6.30pm where all of you can meet one another (virtually) and we can chat about how things have gone for everyone so far. We welcome feedback, ideas for improvement and also, of course, ideas for expansion, other projects and food aid in general. Even if you haven’t done any jobs yet we’d still love to see you there. The meeting will be using a platform called jitsi which is a free open source video conferencing tool. If you’ve never used it before – there’s not need to download anything. Just click the link here (https://meet.jit.si/BenignBacteriaPlanObnoxiously) at the time of the meeting (not before, nobody will be there!), make sure you’ve a microphone and join in.
Below is a little list of roles and ways you can get involved, which might help people to decide where they’d like to slot in:
Kitchen - helping with food prep, chopping veg, portioning and bagging up food, pot wash, cleaning the kitchen. Typically you’d be in from 11.30am-6pm but you’re welcome to leave earlier if needed. We can arrange a tag in and tag out if you can only work in the morning or later on in the day (in these cases we’d do 11.30am-3pm and a 3pm-6pm). Please let us know if you plan on doing a shorter shift so we can plan accordingly.
Delivery - collecting all the food from the cafe, delivering to multiple addresses usually in roughly the same area of the city. Routes will be planned for you but you need to have a smartphone or access to google maps. You can do this by car or by bike but please let us know which. We will provide you with masks and gloves. Typically you’d arrive at the cafe for 5pm. Depending on volume of orders expect the shift to take several hours. You can claim back your petrol costs from us (there is an explanation of how to do this on the forum of our website).
Backroom - taking orders via phone (we can set up a re-direct to your mobile), looking for and responding to orders via e-mail, calling up people who’ve ordered previously to see if they want repeats, logging all orders on a spreadsheet. On the final shift you’ll need to be there to support the drivers with deliveries and there is also a separate role of planning the routes out and sending them to drivers. All of this can be done from home. Typically we have a morning (10am-12.30), afternoon (12.30-4pm) and evening (4pm-close which is when the last driver has completed their deliveries). We have created several documents to guide you through the process.
Outreach/media - letting people know about the project, flyering, reaching out to groups who might be interested in us, responding to press enquiries, writing press releases (with help), helping with social media content (we don’t need too many people for this, though!). For the more artistic helping to design our flyers, leaflets and maybe even making us a cool logo! This would be as and when needed and we welcome input into strategy.
Tech - if you’re good at anything tech related we’d love you to help out with the website and an app we are hoping to use in future. This could be one off bits of work or general tech support for the less tech-savvy of us!
Volunteer coordination – helping to deal with volunteer enquiries (we are getting a lot!), adding them to the database, finding volunteers for the rota each day, on-boarding new volunteers. This would likely be a bit of work each day. This has been quite ad hoc so far as we learn how to deal with such a big operation, so if you feel you can help us sort out a system please do.
Finance – if you have experience in dealing with finances you could help us keep track and produce simple graphics that show where the money we have is being spent. This role could also include helping us to apply for grants if we decide we need to! We want to be transparent in our finances and publish our spending publicly.
If any of that sounds good to you, or you have more questions about it just pop us an e-mail back. We would strongly encourage all of you to sign up for our forum to keep up to date on things like meeting, new developments and up to date information and explanations of roles: https://forum.cooperationbirmingham.org.uk/
See you all soon!
Dylan, Mani and Sergio