Thank you for volunteering with Bags of Taste.

In order to make your mentor journey as smooth as possible, we have laid out the individual steps below. Completing the training on this page is part of the Initial Training.

  • You

    Initial training

    • Initial web-based training
    • Sign code of conduct
    • Onion Chopping
  • BoT

    Arrange Stage 2 training

    We’ll contact you to arrange


  • You

    Stage 2 training

    • Initial training session with staff member
    • Read course materials provided
    • Ask questions
  • BoT

    Allocation to Shadowing Group


  • You

    Shadow a Group

    • Follow a group with an experienced mentor
  • BoT

    Allocation of students

    Area Head will allocate you your group of students


  • You

    Start mentoring

    You will be in the group with an Area Head

  • BoT

    Support & advice

    The Area Head will provide support and advice


  • You

    Graduate your students

    • Complete mentoring
    • Do exit interviews
    • Provide feedback from students to BoT

These 3 short videos (total time: 16 minutes) are the start of your training as a cooking mentor.

At the bottom of the page there is a volunteers agreement – please sign this agreement which outlines what we expect from you in your new role.  Then we will put you in touch with an Area Head who will personally take you through the next part of your training.

In the first video our CEO will introduce you to your role as a cooking mentor.  This relationship between you and our students is incredibly important to them – often more important than mentors realise initially.

This video explains Trauma-Informed Practice, which is at the heart of what we do at Bags of Taste. In simple terms, trauma-informed practice is a way of helping people who have been hurt by something bad that happened to them. It means understanding how the bad thing affects them, being kind and respectful to them, and helping them feel safe and in control of their lives.

It’s important when working with people who have experienced trauma not to take challenging behaviours personally.  People are often coping with a lot and sometimes their reactions may not be what you expect or how you would behave.   This video will explain why and the best way to work with people who have experienced trauma in their lives, and why it’s important to be as reliable as possible.

Many of our participants have experienced some kind of trauma in their lives. Key take aways from this video are:

  • Be kind, and try to avoid judging.
  • Do not take challenging behaviours personally. It’s not about you, it’s about what’s happened to them
  • Try to be as reliable, consistent and transparent as possible.  If you are not able to respond at certain times, tell people in advance so they know what to expect.
  • Try to give participants a sense that you take a personal interest in them

Finally, in your role as a mentor, you may see or hear about things that concern you.  Safeguarding is a protective framework that applies to some of our more vulnerable students.  Safeguarding is the responsibility of everyone, and this video is an introduction to safeguarding for mentors.  For more detailed information on safeguarding, click here

Thank you for watching our training videos. Now, please read and agree with our Volunteers Code of Conduct below.