Features Walthamstow

Volunteer of the Month: Phil Roth for Rukhsana Khan Food Bank

Dulcie Ruttley-Dornan, from Legends of the Forest, on the residents giving back to the borough
By Waltham Forest Echo

Phil Roth, volunteer driver for Rukhsana Khan Food Bank (credit: Patrick Dowse)
Phil Roth, volunteer driver for Rukhsana Khan Food Bank (credit: Patrick Dowse)

The Rukhsana Khan Foundation, which set up Walthamstow’s first food bank, was created in 2013 to honour the memory of founder Jahangir Khan’s late mother.

Its dual missions are to fight food waste throughout east London and help struggling local families get enough to eat.

Legends of the Forest – a joint project by Groundwork London and Waltham Forest Council – spoke to one of its volunteers and long-term Walthamstow resident Phil Roth.

Phils volunteers on Saturdays as one of the food bank’s delivery drivers and says he was inspired to get involved after “seeing so many Walthamstow residents coming forward to help out during the Covid-19 pandemic”.

This story is published by Waltham Forest Echo, Waltham Forest's free monthly newspaper and free news website. We are a not-for-profit publication, published by a small social enterprise. We have no rich backers and rely on the support of our readers. Donate or become a supporter.

Phil Roth (credit: Patrick Dowse)

He said: “I am happy to contribute by helping deliver food to vulnerable people and those with mobility issues, as so many people are facing financial hardship with the huge cost of living increases.

“During the week, Rukhsana Food Bank sends me a list of 10 people and their addresses for the Saturday morning deliveries. I use an online Speedy delivery website, which optimises the most efficient route. 

“On Saturday morning, I drive to their centre on Greenleaf Road, load up the car with carrier bags of food for each resident and then start my deliveries. It’s good meeting the residents and they always appreciate the visit.

“I advise anyone considering volunteering to just go for it. There are many different roles out there to suit everyone, and it’s a good way to meet people.”

Asked to sum up his volunteering experience in three words, he added: “Rewarding, social and fulfilling.”

Find out more about how to volunteer with Rukhsana Khan Foundation here

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