Callum’s Story: From cooking food… to growing it

I have always enjoyed volunteering. I have volunteered locally and internationally. I was first introduced to Jules from Manchester Mind whilst volunteering for Barnabus at the Breakfast Project during the pandemic. Off the back of that introduction I ended up helping the Food for All Team over Christmas at the Unit. I am a chef and I’ve always been interested in learning more about the food and where it comes from, so Sharon encouraged me to visit the allotment and I have been a volunteer there since.

I really enjoy it, it is like a little oasis in the city. Everyone is so quiet and laid back and you are not forced to do anything. My job as a chef is very demanding and I also care for my mum who has multiple physical health needs.

“Since I returned to work, the allotment has been a great place to go to relax and take a break.”

I have met really kind, helpful people at the allotment project and I feel like I am building a network. Growing up I was in the care system and had to meet loads of different workers. They never stuck around for long and were always changing. I was expected to talk to people I had just met about really difficult stuff and I found it hard.

“At the allotment, you don’t have to talk about anything but the people there are open and you build up trust, so I know I could talk to them if I needed to.”

You can find out more about our allotment here


On Monday 19 September, Manchester Mind will be observing the national day of mourning to mark the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

Our services and telephone lines will not be open on this date. We will be back on Tuesday 20 September with our phone lines open from 10:00am.

Urgent help and crisis support is available from these organisations.