Our National Manager Risk & Compliance, Brad, recently volunteered at the Majura Primary School Canteen after he watched a local news report about how canteens are really struggling to get enough volunteers  to help out.
“I was shocked to hear that 19 canteens had recently closed as they were unable to cover the costs of running them. I really enjoyed my weekly lunch order as a boy and wanted my sons to be able to have that same experience at school,” said Brad.
Two of the biggest challenges facing the canteens were a lack of volunteers and the need to provide healthy options.
“I wanted to be able to do my part and help out because I know how hard schools work to provide a positive environment for their students. Sometimes its difficult to find the time to volunteer when you have a busy job, but Beyond Bank makes this possible by providing me with 2 volunteer days a year. Majura Primary recently adopted a new business model  for the canteen which strongly relies on volunteers to keep it in business. I jumped at the chance to help out and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it!”
“It felt really good to help my local community. The canteen staff really appreciated the help and I could see why they really need volunteers. The day was full on and it was all hands on deck to get everything ready for the kids at recess and then lunch.”
“Majura has taken on a new ‘healthy foods’ menu at the canteen and it was good to see for myself all the fresh ingredients and produce that was used and that the kids really did enjoy the food even though it was healthy and different to what they had on the menu before. I also have a son in Kindergarten and it was great to see him rush over to the canteen at the recess proudly telling everyone “thats my dad!”
So why should you volunteer? “Volunteering helps everyone. It helps the community and it helps you because everyone likes that great feeling you get when you give back. I highly recommend volunteering at a school canteen if you can. They are such an important part of the school experience but more canteens in the ACT will have to close if they cannot get volunteers. The kids are fantastic and love meeting the new volunteers. Apparently not many men volunteer in school canteens, which is a shame. Its a great way to help out and I learned a lot of kitchen skills I plan to use at home (which will make my wife happy too!),” said Brad.
Tell us who you volunteer for in the comments below.