Volunteers meeting 16th April 6pm

We hope you enjoyed the first volunteers meeting last week. We definitely did, and your feedback was much appreciated! We would like to hear from you on a regular basis, so we’re calling another volunteers meeting for next Thursday 16th of April at 6pm (the link will be circulated on another email a few minutes before the meeting, and also posted on the forum).

For those of you who couldn’t join, in these meetings we expect to hear from your experience volunteering in order to improve the functioning of the solidarity kitchen and potentially expand to reach still more people in self-isolation. We also think it’s important to see (or hear) each other, have a chat, and discuss our motivations and expectations.


This is the link for the meeting: https://meet.jit.si/BenignBacteriaPlanObnoxiously

See you all in a while!

Hi everyone, thanks for being there again :slight_smile: it is great to see you all.
Please find minutes attached:

Solidarity Kitchen volunteers meeting 16.04.2020

Facilitators: Sergio and Nina

  • Introductions

  • General feedback:

Backroom 1: the taking order process has improved. Standing orders set up that was more efficient. Some people is not that keen to ringing them every day.

Backroom 2: difficult to take orders while taking routes. Are very hard to build and risky.

  • Really like routific platform. It is cool. Would be good to keep having it.

Backroom 3:


  • Already posted in the forum but basically the safety protocols were almost impossibe to follow. Like handing boxes, … there is always a moment you won’t be able to follow them. We should spread the time of the delivers, consequently routes, so we can allocate or concentrate. We shouldn’t allow people to see people afterwards because of the exposure of the virus.

  • The issue with the protocol was very controversial. It took weeks to create it as there are no clear safety and health protocols.

Lack between shifts: we just learnt that one of the drivers on monday has been tested positive. If that person had volunteer more days in a raw could be a very problem. Twist days would be best to stop that possibility.

Having more drivers it is something we can implement. Same with kitchen volunteers, to get more rounds so we can split times and roles and make things more accessible.

  • More spread out means more potential to get sick, but that is difficult to prevent.

  • Totally following the safety and health protocol because of the spread of the virus.

  • Personal safety for alone drivers: for not being unfamiliar, the backroom team knows where you are in all time so that can help. It is a good checking for a safety perspective.

  • Feeling uncomfortable to certain spaces because of gender, age, … someone could be tricked by that environment. We need to make people aware about that, and be honest about the implications of the role. We encourage people to do the routes with someone else, if they live together. If someone has no one to volunteer with and would like to, to let us know so we can try to arrange.

  • Ali is happy to organise an exercise on personal safety for other drivers (AP).

Encourage people to go outside if someone (driver) is feeling a bit sick, like cough. Some basic protocols on that kind of things would be good.

-Not massive fan of uniforms, but Ali was wearing one and if that would help people identifying volunteers it is worth to use it. Doesn’t need to be a uniform. Cyclist beast would work too. It would be good for drivers.

  • Royal Volunteering Service are providing like cards to support drivers stopping by.

  • Bringing camera with themselves to produce some content for SK to spread to social media. With everyone’s concern of course, confidienciality goes first. A potential way to record consent would be recording them saying “I give consent to provide that data to SK/filming”.

  • Driver’s mileage is meant to be adaptable and flexible to everyone’s situation.

Kitchen (shifts)

  • we have an issue with how long the kitchen shifts are because they aren’t accessible for everyone

  • but we are working on making things shorters if we can

  • The issue is that the more people we have in the kitchen the more risks there are

  • Jodie: The main reason i wanted to split the shift for myself is because my disabilities don’t allow me to be on my feet for 7 hours. And this would be the only way that i could help because i can’t do spreadsheets for lots of reasons.

We want to build it accessible for everyone. It is always management again, but it would be great to have mroe people on board. The main barriers are the number of chefs. The problem with split shifts is that creates more work for the chefs. We are working on that.

  • Jodie: happy to help on social media or phone work, like recruitment, emails, forum,…

  • Steph: I expected more organisation in hyginie, constant hand washing, surprised that didn’t feel a big thing.

Other topics:

Recruitment: how are you scaling up? Carlos happy to work on that (software engineer).

  • Ken: before we recruit more volunteers we need more people in admin.

  • AG: helping with admin. There is a lot of coordinate. Summarize form to volunteers to make it easier? So we can classify roles?

  • Carlos: happy to help with admin.

  • Mani: form are a good idea, although we should have something else so information doesn’t get lost.

  • Carlos: transparency with finances? yes, it is published in the forum.

  • Ali: when we pick up the food, we’ve need to bear in mind to don’t stay too long in the cafe? drivers could maybe stay at their vehicles so we don’t make it easier for the virus to spread?/ something we considered was to have a driver coordinator making sure everyone complies with health and safety.

  • Steph: is it something backroom n3 could do?

  • Mani/Nina: it could mean more work for the chefs though. But it is worth to check that as it will reduce number of infections and improve coordination.

-Jodie: In terms of mental health i work with universities for interviewing support staff about mental health and wellness and recovery. I’m quite happy to help with that as i have contact with the nhs trusts etc, maybe its somewhere i can plug in?

  • Carlos: little against having drivers hanging around at the same space for a while. Drivers would be the most vulnerable of the chain. We should be more careful the way we meet. Having a driver as an airlock for that role would maybe not work either on the safety part. It would be best to not have a driver doing that role.

  • Mani: we’re trying things easier for the kitchen. So having one from the kitchen doing that would difficult the delivery processand not help them after long shift.

  • Nina maybe we could stand to have an extra person in the kitchen near the end of the shift to help co-ordinating the packing and the getting it to drivers.

  • Carlos maybe its best then if we could have a driver come in to do that co-ordination and then leave without driving that evening to reduce the vector issue

  • Mani: cooperation birmingham is not only solidarity kitchen. It happened because of Covid-19. But there are other things we want to keep doing too. Atm this is where the focus needs to be, but there are other things to do like hand made mask.

  • Kae: Adding to that, if anyone is interested making masks there is a meeting tomorrow (16/04) at 19:30h.

  • Ali: Someone nearby they live offered to volunteer making masks? Happy to help on that.

Can we post it on facebook or social media? it would be go to spread it. Kae is making a graphic. We need more help in social media.

Although we need to be very careful posting in social media.

  • Steph: having greatful people in the phone. Very nice to hear people is happy with SK.

  • Nina we have made a podcast to explain the protocols and give people an understanding of why they are there. It’s published on the forum and will be on social media soon.

  • Sergio we also need more help from people to organise the project. Its fine to just be a volunteer but also its a political project, and we believe in direct democracy so while this is for feedback ideally its about deciding things together. There’s a poll on the forum closing tomorrow about when our next meeting is. So please respond to that, we also need to discuss democratic processes themselves, because decisions are generally made by whoever is about during a crisis.

  • Nina its not just about making decisions but also how to know whats going on, there’s also a number of Signal Messenger groups which is where troubleshooting gets done and its a great way of taking part and helping with the day to day.

  • Sergio if you have an idea, like with the mental health thing, please do post it in the forum and feel like you can take it forward cos thats how it all works.