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Your time is precious. Spend it with us.

Volunteering – Find the opportunity that is right for you!

Volunteer at City Harvest London, a fast-moving food redistribution charity rescuing food from going to waste and delivering, for free, to 350+ charities across London.

Across the UK, the cost-of-living crisis has created a food emergency. Currently, 1 in 4 Londoners struggles to afford to eat yet London produces nearly 2 million tonnes of food waste each year. City Harvest rescues nutritious food from going to waste and we need your help to get it to those communities who rely on our support.

Volunteer roles with City Harvest are critical to our impact. For every hour you volunteer, City Harvest is able to deliver enough food for 530 meals. Without the time and support of our volunteers, we simply could not do this!

Volunteering at City Harvest is a lot of fun!

According to a recent survey


of our volunteers would recommend our volunteer experience!

We have community volunteering opportunities available for individuals who may wish to volunteer with us on an adhoc or more regular basis. And we have corporate volunteering opportunities available for groups of 6 – 8 people from organisations who wish to meet their CSR ambitions. Click on the buttons below for more information.

Meet the Team

Volunteering Awards and Accreditations

Age Inclusive Volunteering with Rest Less

What's it like to volunteer at City Harvest

Find out what our volunteers think of us and what it is like to support City Harvest.

City Harvest Celebrates Volunteer Week 2023

A huge thank you from us all at City Harvest. We love you.

Donate to support our work

Please help us to keep rescuing food to feed families.

Volunteering FAQs

What social impact will I make by volunteering at City Harvest?

By volunteering with us for a day, our volunteers have the chance to make a direct positive impact on thousands of vulnerable people in London. 

Because of the time our volunteers give to helping City Harvest, many Londoners facing obstacles such as homelessness, food poverty, and/or domestic abuse will have access to a nutritious meal. 

Not only this, but there is a significant environmental impact to our work too. The food that we rescue would otherwise go to landfill, where it would release harmful greenhouse gases as it decomposes. 

Therefore, your volunteering will also make a tremendous difference to both people and the planet!

What sorts of activities will I be doing while I volunteer at City Harvest?

Currently, our volunteering opportunities are based onsite at our warehouses and involve a variety of activities, such as unloading deliveries, unpacking and sorting food donations, and creating trays and boxes of assorted food to go out to our charity recipients. 

Due to the nature of our operation, it is necessary that our volunteers feel comfortable with physical activity to undertake our warehouse roles, which require standing, walking, and lifting. 

In order to prioritise our volunteers’ health and safety, we do provide a comprehensive manual handling training programme, which is required to be reviewed before first arriving onsite and is designed to give an idea of activities involved in the role.

What shift patterns are available?

As part of our volunteering programme, we offer different shift patterns, depending on which base you would like to volunteer at.

We offer a flexible slot-booking system through Timecounts, so you can join us according to your personal availability. We offer options of locations for volunteering and a variety of shifts to choose from, as follows:


We are open Monday – Sunday, for the variety of times below:

Mon-Fri Saturday


4 hours

8:30 am – 12

12 –4 pm

4 –8 pm

3 hours

9 am – 12 

12 – 3 pm

4 hours

12 – 4 pm 

4 – 8 pm

2 hours

10 am – 12

12 – 2 pm

2 – 4 pm

4 – 6 pm




We are open Monday – Thursday mornings (in accordance with market opening hours) for the below slot:

Mon–Thurs: 08:00 – 12:00

Where is City Harvest (Acton) and how can I get there?

We are based in Acton (Unit 8, Acton Park Industrial Estate, Acton, W3 7QE).

Be it by foot, by bicycle, by bus, by train, by car, or … (not quite by plane!), there are many ways to reach us! We have various transport links you can use to access us, including:


  • Turnham Green Station (District Line)
  • Acton Town Station (Piccadilly Line)
  • Acton Central (Overground)

There are also a plethora of bus routes which pass close by to our site. We recommend apps such as City Mapper to find your best route to us!


If you need to drive to us, there are carparking spaces available on Acton Park Industrial Estate, which can be found alongside Unit 8 (on the lane between Unit 8 and Unit 16). Please pick up a parking permit from our team onsite and display this on your dashboard for the site parking attendants to see you are with us! 

Please be cautious not to park in a ‘Van Only’ spot (outside our Goods In or Goods Out shutters), as this is where our vans are loaded! 

However, as rescuing the planet is a huge part of our ethos, we do ask that volunteers carpool or take public transport wherever possible!


We have a covered bike shelter directly outside the depot. We recommend that you bring a bike lock with you to secure your bike whilst volunteering.

Where is City Harvest (New Spitalfields Market) and how can I get there?

We are based in 23 Sherrin Road, Leyton, London. E10 5SQ.

You will find us in the right-hand corner of the market car park, next to the Calor Gas Bottling Station.

We have various transport links you can use to access us, including:


  • Leyton Station (Central Line)
  • Stratford Station (Central, Jubilee, DLR, Overground Lines)

There are also a plethora of bus routes which pass close by to our site. We recommend apps such as City Mapper to find your best route to us!


There are carparking facilities available, however be cautious not to park in a ‘Van Only’ spot, as you could get a ticket! There is limited capacity, so we do ask that you carpool or take public transport wherever possible.

To park, enter through the security gates and turn an immediate right. Along this lane, any of the parking spaces on the right can be used by us. 

From there, you can walk to us, next to the Calor Gas Bottling Station.


We have space to store your bike onsite at New Spitalfields Market. We recommend that you bring a bike lock with you to secure your bike whilst volunteering.

What should I wear to my volunteer shifts?

Please dress sensibly for the day, as it will involve lots of physical activity, e.g. lifting and organising trays of food. We recommend that all volunteers wear warm, protective clothing and sensible footwear (no open-toed sandals or flipflops!). We will provide you with high visibility vests, which will need to be worn at all times, however we recommend that you wear layers underneath, as you might be working outside, but you could also get quite warm!

When volunteering onsite, it is required for health and safety that clothing and footwear suitable for a warehouse environment is worn. 

Volunteering onsite involves lots of physical activity, e.g. lifting and organising trays of food, so we recommend that all volunteers wear appropriate, protective clothing (that you don’t mind potentially getting mucky!). We also recommend wearing layers, in order to remain comfortable in all weathers, outside, or in temperature-controlled areas. To minimise risk, we also ask that jewellery be kept to a minimum.

We require all volunteers to attend wearing appropriate footwear, i.e. flat, sturdy shoes such as trainers or work boots. Inappropriate footwear including high heels, open-toed sandals, or flip flops will result in volunteers not being able to engage in activities onsite, as these will be deemed unsafe for the volunteer.

We provide PPE for all volunteers in the form of high-visibility vests and gloves. These should be worn at all times when undertaking warehouse or site work and, where appropriate, while representing City Harvest off site.

What are the age requirements for volunteering with City Harvest?

Warehouse Assistant and Driver’s Assistant

For our onsite volunteering experience, including our warehouse assistant and drivers’ assistant roles, we require that our volunteers be aged 18 and over to attend independently.

For volunteers aged 16-18, we openly invite these volunteers to help us onsite, provided they attend with a supervising adult over the age of 18. Both must be registered as volunteers on Timecounts, so we have the required information for health and safety.

For volunteers below the age of 16, we are regrettably not permitted to extend our onsite volunteering experience, due to the nature of the roles and associated activities, and our corresponding insurance policy. 

Other volunteering

To enquire about alternative forms of supporting City Harvest (not onsite), please contact our Volunteer Team at

What are City Harvest's access requirements?

Whilst our Acton warehouse does have step-free access, we unfortunately cannot recommend those with physical access requirements to participate in our general volunteering roles, due to the physically demanding nature of the warehouse activities. 

If you would like to find more ways to help, please contact us directly at and we would be happy to discuss more ways that you would be able to help.

Will City Harvest pay travel expenses?

We reimburse the public transport travel expenses of those volunteers who come to help us. We have a process for this with our Finance department, where the volunteers fill in a form, and travel expenses are reimbursed every fortnight, on the provision of the necessary TfL travel receipts.

Will I receive any training?

Yes. We provide a specialised and comprehensive manual handling training programme, a City Harvest Volunteer Handbook, and a full induction on arrival.

Are volunteers insured?


For more information, please contact our team at 

Volunteer News

Volunteer Week 2023: celebrating our volunteer community

Volunteer Week 2023: celebrating our volunteer community

City Harvest volunteers are central to our food rescue operation. This Volunteer Week, we celebrate the impact of our volunteer community via City Harvest’s EQUALS campaign. 1 hour spent volunteering EQUALS 530 meals delivered to charities feeding their communties.

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Volunteer Week at City Harvest London

Volunteer Week at City Harvest London

Our volunteers keep City Harvest alive and London fedHere at City Harvest, we love to celebrate our wonderful volunteers! There are so many ways in which we invite our volunteers...

read more