Tell us about yourself

Hello, my name is Paula, I live in Bedford and have a passion for food – both cooking and eating!  When I’m not working as an editor on a magazine, I keep fit on my yoga mat and on walks with my 12 year old, but still very lively, Bichon Frise. I’ve recently taken up, and fallen in love with pottery throwing.  It’s great fun but SO much harder than it looks on Channel 4’s Great Pottery Throw Down. I don’t think I’ll be getting the call to appear on the show anytime soon!


Why did you decide to volunteer with Food etc?

Although I always cook from scratch, my highest food qualification is ‘O’ level nutrition (that reveals my age) and with no previous experience of working in a classroom, I was hesitant to apply,  However, being keen that everyone should have access to healthy affordable food, I gave it a go and found Food Etc to be the perfect fit for me.


What’s your favourite thing about Food etc?

Hearing a child say they prefer the Food Etc recipe to a takeaway or ready meal makes me very happy. It has also been a great pleasure to meet the families as well as the other volunteers.


Have you had any challenges since you’ve been volunteering with us?

I have been lucky to work in a school with a well-equipped kitchen; we did however have an embarrassing problem working out how to switch on the induction hobs. Thankfully the school caretaker came to the rescue and we were then ‘cooking on gas’….or rather electricity.


What would you say to someone considering volunteering with Food Etc?

Definitely give it a try.  All the resources are supplied and the initial online training is relatively pain free.  You get back from volunteering as much as you give, if not more.


What’s your go to healthy meal – inspire us?!

Always mindful not to waste food, I try to be creative with what’s in my fridge, so although no two meals are the same, stir fries, soups and roasted vegetables feature regularly on my menu. My latest discovery is a super easy and healthy roasted whole cauliflower recipe which can be served as a veggie alternative to a Sunday roast.  I use Jamie Oliver’s, but there are plenty to choose from online.