Third Sector Awards: Volunteer Team of the Year – The Bread and Butter Thing

Awarded to the volunteer team that has had a significant impact on a charity or good cause over the past year.

Volunteer Team of the Year – The Bread and Butter Thing

Who is on the team?

The Bread and Butter Thing (TBBT) works with partners such as the Co-op and Asda to deliver surplus food to people on a low income in the North of England, who pay a nominal fee to receive weekly deliveries. Volunteers represent more than 90 per cent of the charity’s workforce, with teams made up of people from the local area. In the past year the team has been bolstered by furloughed staff from local businesses, housing associations and schools, and TBBT now has about 300 people lending their time and energy each week.

What do they do?

Volunteers are fundamental to the TBBT operation, whether sorting and packing stock in the warehouse, driving vans or helping to pack bags and serve members at the community hubs. They also provide insight into the needs of their communities and how services can be improved.

What have they achieved?

TBBT has benefited from almost 266,000 hours of volunteer time this year alone. Volunteers helped to keep the service going when it has been more vital than ever – not just for the food it provides, but also the invaluable contact at a time when many felt especially isolated. Thanks to its volunteers, TBBT has been able to make 2,000 deliveries a week to more than 14,000 members, who have collectively saved about £3m. The scheme also gives volunteers a purpose and structure to their week, helping to keep them active, meet new people, learn new skills, feel useful and give something back.

What did the judges say?

“It is clear that the team of volunteers at The Bread and Butter Thing are at the heart of everything the charity is able to achieve. They use their compassion and wealth of knowledge of their community to make an incredible impact on tackling food poverty.”

Highly commended

  • SafeLives Pioneers, SafeLives


  • Sal's Shoes Volunteers, Sal’s Shoes
  • STAMMA Helpline Team, STAMMA, the British Stammering Association
  • TurnAround Mentors, Wilderness Foundation UK
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