“We fell into it. It wasn’t like we sat at home thinking: ‘What can we do with our lives now,’” said Diane Rosewell, about the community food support project that she and her husband David started in 2020. They imagined a retirement life of travel and spending time with their grandchildren. Both were volunteering, including David chairing the local school board of governors; it was this that set them on their completely new course. In October 2020, the House of Commons voted against extending free school meals into the holidays. David quickly brought a group of local residents to discuss food poverty and solutions they could implement. They settled on the Collective Sharehouse, which would offer food support to families in need. It opened within 6 weeks and almost three years later, they serve more than 100 families three times a week. Volunteering has enhanced their lives and Diane is passionate about what it offers to individuals and their communities. “It makes a massive, real difference. I would never have thought it would be possible to achieve what we have achieved,” she said.

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