Being a Squad Captain

What are Squad Captains?

Squad Captains are the leaders of a team of Food Waste Heroes. They are the main point of contact between the Squad members (i.e. Food Waste Heroes), and OLIO, and help to oversee the Squad’s day-to-day activities.

Why do Squads need a Captain?

OLIO has hundreds of Food Waste Hero squads. In order to ensure that collections are running smoothly for all of these, Squad Captains play an essential role in leading the teams and keeping them well organised and reliable. Additionally, Food Waste Heroes need a person to go to in case they have any questions in relation to their surplus food collections.

Why are the longest-standing collectors being automatically appointed as Squad Captain if no one else steps forward?

As it is compulsory for each Squad to have a Captain, we hope that someone steps forward to take on this role. If no one steps forward, the longest-standing collector within the group will automatically be appointed to recognise their experience and commitment to the Squad.

What are the responsibilities of a Squad Captain?

The main responsibility of a Squad Captain is to ensure that food does not go to waste and that everyone in their squad is enjoying their volunteering experience. There are a number of ways this can be achieved, which are outlined in the Squad Captain Manual, available in the Volunteer Hub. As the responsibilities can vary by store, they will be explained to any new Squad Captain during their induction call with OLIO.

Squad Captains are also being relied on to maintain a positive community environment within each Squad and to proactively help Food Waste Heroes with any questions they might have.

What do I get for being a Squad Captain?

Valuable team management experience, and the good feeling that you’ve contributed to a better tomorrow :-). To recognise the amazing work that our Squad Captains are doing, you will also receive the rare ‘Squad Captain’ badge that will appear in your profile so others can easily recognise your level. Squad Captains can also claim an additional ‘bonus’ 3rd collection slot as a thank you. To redeem this, please email with the details of the extra slot you’d like. Please be aware that this is subject to the slot's availability at the time OLIO HQ processes your request.

If you're a Squad Starter, you are allowed an additional collection at each store you sign onto OLIO, even if this is above 3 collections! 

As a Squad Captain, what do I do if someone in my Squad is being unreliable?

As per our volunteering agreement, certain behaviour is unacceptable in our friendly and responsible community. You can ask a Food Waste Hero in your Squad to step down from volunteering as a Food Waste Hero immediately if they:

  • Break the rules set out in OLIO's Food Safety Management System
  • Are assigned a regular collection slot at a local business but haven't done a collection personally over 21 days
  • Do not show up for their collection twice without arranging for cover and food goes to waste

We also track bad behaviour which can damage the relationship with the food donor or with the Squad. This includes:

  • Being late to a collection
  • Showing inappropriate behaviour towards store staff
  • Being inappropriate towards other Food Waste Heroes in the group
  • Not distributing food fairly or being disrespectful to other members of the OLIO community.

In these instances, please email to explain the situation. An OLIO team member will then investigate, and if needed ask the Food Waste Hero to step down and make their slot available for a different user to claim.

What if I am the Squad Captain and want to step down from collections?

We’re very sorry to hear that you’d like to step down from collecting from a store. If no one else wants to be a Squad Captain, and you’d still like to continue being Squad Captain even after you have stepped down, please email and explain before you unassign yourself from your collection slot.

If you would like to resign from your position as Squad Captain, please first let your Squad know and ask if any of them would like to step forward. Once you have done this, please email to inform us of your resignation and if anyone has stepped forward to replace you.

If no one steps forward, the longest-standing collector from the Squad will automatically be appointed as the new Squad Captain.

How can Squad Captains receive extra support?

All Squad Captains will receive a special induction when they step forward that gives tips on leading a group and to help address any initial queries.

If you need support beyond this please email

How many groups can one user be a Squad Captain for?

As many as they think they can manage! We have no limit for groups you can be Squad Captain for but we do ask you to consider how much time you will be able to dedicate to each Squad. We reserve the right to refuse a user leading a group if we have doubts they’re going to meet everyone’s expectations.