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Duncan McGregor - A Volunteer's Story

Soul Food is run entirely by volunteers. Every week over 65 people (in total) pitch up to either Ps and Gs church on a Saturday or St Margaret’s on a Thursday to cook, set up, serve and share a beautiful home cooked meal. Across those two nights, about 200 people, in need of a free meal and a safe space are fed.

Over the next while, I would like to introduce you to some of the incredible people who give their time – week in week out – to make Soul Food what it is.

Duncan McGregor has been part of the core team at St Margaret’s Soul Food since it first began last May. He is a great chef and an invaluable member of the cooking team. Whilst he was making a Chicken Tikka Masala (!), I asked Duncan why it was that he offered to cook for Soul Food and he shared with me as to how he had heard Richard Cornfield speak about it and had decided that he would like to volunteer. “And what was your experience of Soul Food when you came along, was it how it had been described?”, I asked.

“I was totally blown away,” Duncan answered. “I couldn’t believe it. It wasn’t just people cooking for homeless folk, it was also people making sure that those folks were treated with respect, kindness and dignity. It was as though people were treated with the same respect as someone who had just walked into a restaurant. I had never seen anything like it before. It was a beautiful thing. I had worked at other places before and Soul Food was very different to them. At a Soul Food meal, people weren’t seen as simply homeless, rather they were viewed as honoured guests. I felt that God was at the heart of it all.”

Admittedly wiping the tears from eyes (!), I then asked Duncan why it was that he pitched up every week to cook for Soul Food. “It’s because I feel part of great team,” he replied. “I need the community but also I know that I am needed as part of that community and that people depend on me. That feels good.”

Being the incisive interviewer that I am, my final question to Duncan was to ask him what his favourite meal was. "Macaroni Cheese'", was his swift and direct reply!

If you would like to volunteer at a Soul Food meal, please do get in touch. We would love to hear from you and we can promise a great community to be part of.

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