JOB DESCRIPTION - Head of Cooks - Second Helpings Stamford

Second Helpings

Established in 2015, Second Helpings, Stamford, aims to reduce food waste by using food gifted from local sources that would otherwise go to landfill. Our café, community fridge and “Bunker” are run by volunteers on a Pay-as-you-Feel basis, serving the needs of local people from all walks of life, regardless of the ability to pay.

Part of the national Real Junk Food Project, Second Helpings has grown rapidly, always focused on stopping society’s surplus food from going to waste. Our key objective: “Feed Bellies not Bins”. Our team of volunteers includes evening food collectors from local supermarkets, experienced cooks/chefs, kitchen assistants, front of house and Bunker team.

Having grown from a fledgling project to an increasingly major local not-for-profit organisation, Second Helpings is looking for a new Head of Cooks to join the Management Committee, adding to the operational strength of the project. Currently we produce upwards of 1000 meals a month, aiming to meet the needs of reducing food surplus and providing nutritious meals for the community. Pre-Covid we produced a 3-course meals every Saturday for c.100 guests each week. Moving forward we expect there to be some overlap between these two approaches, with new ways of working having to be considered to meet the ends of the project and our community.

Working closely with committee members and the operational teams, you will be responsible for coordinating and supporting the team of cooks and kitchen volunteers, overseeing the environmental health requirements of our food preparation, cooking and storage processes, managing external cooking partnerships and supporting the day to day requirements of our cooking activities.

In a role that is both hands-on and strategic, you will be a leader of people, a clear communicator, and have patience in ensuring the needs of the organisation are met whilst exceeding the expectations of your kitchen volunteers – each of whom can have very different needs and motivations. You will have a passion for cooking and an understanding of what goes into creating large-scale quantities of food from surplus produce. Your enthusiasm for our objectives will be essential to your success in this key role.

Full information about Second Helpings, including our Constitution and Safeguarding Policy, is available from our website: www.secondhelpings.org.uk. We also recommend that you visit our Facebook page and pop in to the Bunker to gain a flavour of the organisation.


  • Liaising with other Heads Of and representing cooks team at committee, providing feedback on day to day requirements, successes and issues as well as representing the strategic direction of the cooked food element of our work
  • Overseeing the cooks rota, and ensuring new and existing kitchen volunteers are well supported, trained and on-boarded with care and attention
  • Ensuring all cooks have relevant training and qualifications and we are meeting required environmental health standards (in line with risk assessments etc)
  • Managing the cooks’ communication channels (currently WhatsApp groups)
  • Managing incoming kitchen emails and responding to potential new cooks/kitchen team members
  • Purchasing food, takeaway supplies and other kitchen equipment
  • Managing relationship and distribution of meals through various external partnerships as needed (currently SOS and Evergreen)
  • Cultivate a positive and supportive atmosphere by recognising kitchen volunteer efforts and assisting volunteers with their endeavours
  • Manage communication among kitchen volunteers in order to share news, progress, and available positions with support from the relevant committee members and other key volunteers
  • Present updates to colleagues in writing and report at monthly Management Committee
  • Promote the organisation, its volunteers’ efforts and accomplishments internally and externally
  • Report to and liaise with Stamford Methodist Church as required.


  • Proficient written and verbal communication
  • A passion for cooking and an understanding of what goes into creating large-scale quantities of food from surplus produce
  • Food Hygiene Level 2 qualification (or willingness to undertake this) and good understanding of the safety requirements of a large kitchen operation
  • Very strong interpersonal skills and the ability to support, inspire and lead a diverse group of passionate volunteers
  • Ability to represent the needs of the kitchen and its volunteers within the committee and work collaboratively with the management teams to get the best from our volunteers across the project
  • Willingness to commit to a challenging but fulfilling role. Estimated time commitment is approximately 3 hours a week plus monthly Management Committee meeting lasting up to 1.5 hours

Informal Enquiries/Further Information

Contact Audrey Hensman (Chair, Management Committee) audreyh@phonecoop.coop or 07951 777 237


Please email a brief CV to volunteermgr@secondhelpings.org.uk All applicants will be invited to an interview with one of the volunteers. Second interviews for shortlisted candidates will be by arrangement with each successful candidate.

A Community Project of Stamford Methodist Church, Charity Number 1182848

Copyright © 2019