We are open Monday to Friday during the day, so are looking for volunteers who are able to help during the week rather than during evenings and weekends. We ask that volunteers can commit to two shifts per week.
We ask that volunteers can be flexible to support the needs of the centre on the days you're helping. There may be the opportunity to specialise after an agreed induction period if you want to gain experience in a particular area.
Volunteer tasks can include:
As part of the kitchen team you would help to prepare breakfast and lunch from our '3 of your 5 a day' menu. You will be working with other volunteers, supported by our Kitchen Supervisor. Whether you are hoping to find work in the catering industry or just want to contribute, all are welcome. We also offer nationally recognised training and development opportunities. Shift times are 8.15am to 1.30pm, with breaks. Though the kitchen can be busy we aim to make your time with us a pleasurable, learning experience. A willingness to take on all kitchen duties, including some cleaning tasks is essential.
Helping in the cafe
Helping to serve food, clear tables, sitting and talking to people and supporting the activities. There may be some shopping or sorting of donations to help with. You will be working in a team of volunteers supported by one of our Project Workers. Shift times are 8.30 to 1pm. The most important requirement is that you are a good listener, happy to work in a team and have a non-judgemental attitude.
Helping people to sort out problems with benefits and housing, you will be working in the advice office and accompanying people to appointments. You will be working in a team with other volunteers, supported by one of our Project Workers and full training will be provided. Shift times are 8.30am to 1pm or 3.30pm. Experience of advice work or advocacy may be an advantage but isn't essential. This is excellent experience for anyone who is thinking of going into any kind of advice work.
Welcoming homeless people and visitors to the Centre, giving out post, logging donations, answering the phone and giving general signposting information, you will be working in a team with a trainee from the Centre who is getting Customer Service experience to add to their CV and will be supported by one of our Project Workers. Shift times are 8.30am to 1pm or 3.30pm. This is a key role as the receptionist is the first person to greet people coming to the centre, so we are looking for people with a friendly and positive outlook and basic computer skills. Full training will be provided.
Job Club and Computer Support
Helping people to use our suite of computers, particularly to search for jobs and update CVs, you will be working in a team of volunteers supported by one of our Project Workers. Shift times are 8.30 am to 1pm. You need to be confident in using computers and be good at explaining things to people who have never used computers before.
Helping our arts sessional workers to run creative workshops, including setting up and clearing away, framing pictures and planning exhibitions. We're looking for people who have experience and skills in different areas of the arts, including digital, as well as people who can attend trips out to galleries and museums with the group.
Music creates a great atmosphere within the centre and would be delighted to welcome any new volunteers who would like to play for our visitors.
We like to be able to offer people the opportunity to have their hair cut regularly. If you are a hairdresser and have time during the day to come in and offer hair cuts at the centre, please get in touch.
Experience, references and DBS check
You don't need experience of working with homeless people in order to volunteer with us. What you do need is the right attitude - we are looking for people who are good listeners, who have a positive outlook, are non-judgemental and are happy to muck in and work as part of a team. We ask people to give us details of two people who we can approach for references. We will also need to apply for a DBS check (which has replaced the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks) because we work with vulnerable adults. Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar you from becoming a volunteer, so please don't let this put you off.
What you can expect from us
- To volunteer in a friendly, supportive environment
- We provide a full induction and ongoing training for all our volunteers
- We reimburse out of pocket expenses, such as bus fares/parking fees
- We provide lunch for all our volunteers
- You will be allocated to a particular team, where you will get support from one of our project workers
- We are very happy to write references for volunteers who are applying for work or education courses
How to apply
- Complete the application form below
- We will invite you to come into the centre to have a look around and a chat
- We'll follow up your references
- You'll be invited to attend an induction training session
- You will be able to start volunteering as soon as you've completed the induction