ON average 15,000 people across South Yorkshire benefit each week through the efforts of Fareshare volunteer Josh Wilkinson.

Josh, from Wombwell, has been volunteering at the charity for five years after it was suggested he start volunteering to boost his confidence.

Josh said: “I was doing the Prince’s Trust and had anxiety and low confidence. They suggested I start volunteering at Fareshare and that’s how it all started.”

Fareshare Head of Development Jonathan Williams who has nominated Josh for a Proud of Barnsley award in the Volunteer of the Year category said:

"Josh came to FareShare Yorkshire in 2018 with no work experience but faithfully completed our forklift permit training programme, volunteered three days a week and gained a lot of customer service experience delivering surplus food to frontline charities across South Yorkshire as a driver's mate.

"To this day Josh is a huge source of support to our team of staff and volunteers.

"He is a kind, gentle and generous person who supports everyone on site, whether it's unloading pallets of food from a lorry, picking and packing orders for charities or delivering surplus into the kitchens of frontline projects. Through the pandemic Josh was tireless in providing cover for ill colleagues when we had to double our output with no notice.

"Josh never seeks any credit for the work he does, most of which is behind closed doors at our Wombwell centre.

"There have honestly been a lot of days when we could not have readied every charity order without him.

"He has grown so much in confidence that he now often leads whole teams of seven to ten guest volunteers when he is with us.

"On average 15,000 people across South Yorkshire benefit each week because of Josh's efforts and we are so proud of him.”

Josh said that being nominated was a bit of a shock but that he was really pleased to have what he does recognised: “I feel proud to be nominated but the volunteering has really helped me. I am now a lot more confident and I feel like part of the family at Fareshare which has made a big difference to me."