Volunteering as a Refugee

Rebuilding a Life through Food
20 May

Volunteering as a Refugee

4Lunch benefits hugely from the support of our volunteers, and we also want to make sure our volunteers get something out of 4Lunch!

This is very apparent when we engage volunteers who are new to the UK. And we’ve been really lucky to have met Aws Alhasan.

Aws had been a professional chef in Iraq for 18 years, working in many top restaurants and hotels in Baghdad. As a passionate and charismatic cook, Aws even had his own TV and YouTube Channel!


A Stepping Stone

Having arrived in the UK in January 2018 as a refugee, Aws was immediately keen to apply his skills in the kitchen in the UK.

His project worker Michael from Refugee Action, contacted 4Lunch to see if there were any volunteering opportunities for Aws.

Volunteering is often the first step into paid work and has enormous benefits when it comes to widening a refugee’s social circle and English language skills.

Whilst Aws continues his English language course at Bury College, he has been volunteering at 4Lunch on his days off. His first volunteering shift involved preparing a traditional roast chicken dinner for over 65s for 4Lunch’s pop up community lunch.

Through volunteering alongside his English course, Aws has been able to build his confidence in an English-speaking kitchen. Being able to converse whilst preparing food is a great way to find out about a person’s life. Whilst helping to prepare a Christmas meal with 4Lunch, Aws explained to us how his Palestinian ethnicity caused many problems for him and his family in Iraq. The harassment got so intense that he was forced to flee elsewhere.

Despite his distressing situation, Aws is looking forward to the future and is getting used to life in Manchester. 4Lunch will continue to offer more volunteering opportunities to Aws in the coming year and support any future job applications. Well done Aws for being you!




The Power of Volunteering

Volunteering is one of the most under-rated, but hugely impactful ways to make a difference in this world.

To give your time, not just your money, to help others, is a wonderful way to show you care.

And I’d like to thank all of our volunteers over the past few months for their hard work and for supporting 4Lunch: Nicole, Anna, Adrien, Cheng, Helen, Levie, Asad, Sabah, Shamim, Raqia, Barley, Booky and Aws. You are all amazing people.