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Queens Award for Voluntary Service

Sycamore Dining was founded to provide a service to the community while supporting City of Nottingham District Scouts.

In 2022 Nottinghamshire Scouts were awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Service, one of reasons being the meal service provided by us in the City. The photo is some of our volunteers at the presentation award receiving the award.

Sycamore Dining  Volunteer Opportunities


We prepare and cook all our meals in our kitchen at Foxton Gardens, Frampton Road, Beechdale, Nottingham NG8 3FR.

We provide social dining (luncheon clubs for the elderly) five days a week, but this is dependent on us having a pool of volunteers to draw from on a daily basis. Our ideal is to have a kitchen team for each day of the week, but we can be as flexible as we need to be, as we recognise you have other commitments you need to work around, whether its work, family, or other activities you enjoy doing.

What is important to us is that you tell us when you can volunteer, and that you are reliable to your commitment.

Kitchen Staff

We have a team of up to four volunteers a day preparing food in our kitchen. Our volunteers tend to work one or two shifts per week, typically the same days and times each week. Our kitchen volunteers start between 8.30am and 9.00am, and finish by 1pm latest. We need  mix of skills in the team, from somebody preparing vegetables and helping with the cleaning, to cooks that have worked in commercial kitchens. Most of our volunteers have experience in domestic kitchens when they join us and learn our procedures on the job. 

We are happy for volunteers to complete work experience while working with us.


We also need drivers to deliver meals to the homes of the elderly and vulnerable, a service we started as Covid-19 lockdown started. We deliver meals Monday to Friday each week, and need one or two drivers each day.

You will get mileage expenses of 45p per mile as well as the chance to meet new people and to become part of the great team that delivers Sycamore Dining's meals across

Luncheon Clubs

We provide cooked meals to luncheon clubs located in sheltered housing independent living for the elderly community rooms. 

We are looking for volunteers to host these events.  You will be required to pick up the food and equipment on a timely basis, transport to the venue, and deliver to the serving area at the venue. You will then supervise and serve the meals with help from activity coordinators or residents while befriending the  elderly attendees Following the meal, you will return the equipment to the kitchen. 


Our volunteers can choose to combine the roles outlined above. We have volunteers that work in the kitchen, help transport food and equipment to venues, and serve at the venues.

Why Volunteer?

People volunteer for a variety of reasons, normally as a means to improving the quality of life, or the health and wellbeing of themselves, and for others. Our volunteers are from a variety of ages (13 to 70) and backgrounds.

The following are examples of people that have volunteered for Sycamore Dining.

Retired from many years of working

Retiring from a busy work life leads to a life changing experience, where the individual needs to adapt after getting through the initial jobs list. The individual still needs to feel fulfilled, to achieve, to meet people, to get out of the house, and to be busy. What better way than to volunteer and help support others that are often less fortunate than you.

Long term unemployed

Volunteering is a great way of getting work experience, which helps build your self confidence, helps get you back into the routine of work life, and to gain more work skills and life skills that can be added to your CV. As well as experience, Sycamore Dining is also able to offer volunteers a range of employability and training initiatives that support them into work and create better lives for themselves, their families and their communities. They aim to give volunteers the best possible opportunities, to gain experience that will prepare them for employment, help them to progress in work, or support them to become self-employed.

Work Experience for Students

Often a requirement of 6th form, further education colleges and university is some work experience related to the subject being studied. We offer volunteering opportunities so you can gain this invaluable experience.

DofE Community Service

We are able to offer Duke of Edinborough Award community service volunteering during school holidays for young people aged 13+.

Volunteer Policy

Sycamore Dining Volunteering is Age Friendly and Inclusive. This means: -

Volunteering is Flexible and Responsive:

  • It fits around your life – you tell us which shifts you can work

  • When your life changes, you can adjust your commitment without feeling you’ve let us down

  • You know how to get involved, what you are being asked to do, and how to stop.

Volunteering is Enabled and Supported:

  • You will receive practical help with access, expenses, and any training you want and need

  • You will be supported and know who to turn to with any questions

Volunteering is Sociable and Connected:

  • You have opportunities to meet and spend time with other people, including people from different backgrounds and age groups

  • You will feel a part of something

Our Volunteers are Valued and Appreciated:

  • The value of your effort is recognised, and people regularly let you know you’re valued – through what they say and do

  • You will feel like people appreciate what you do

Volunteering is Meaningful and Purposeful:

  • The work you do means something to you and feels purposeful

  • You feel that what you do is worthwhile

Volunteering Makes Good Use of Your Strengths:

  • It allows you to use the skills and experiences you’ve built up during your life, and gives you opportunities to try out and learn new things

  • You feel like your experience is respected and valued

Equal Opportunities

No Sycamore Dining volunteer should receive less favourable treatment based on: class or socio-economic status; ethnic origin; nationality or race; gender (including gender reassignment); marital or civil partnership status; sexual orientation; disability; pregnancy and political or religious belief (including the absence of belief). All Sycamore Dining volunteers should seek to practise equality.

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