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We have a wide and varied range of volunteer roles available. Everyone has something they can offer - whether it's a professional skill, such as acupuncture, hairdressing or IT, or simply lending your time to help out with some basic tasks around the Nightshelter, like washing up, making tea, admin or just having a chat with our residents. Some of our volunteer roles don't even require you to come into the Nightshelter (cooking a meal at home for example).
All our volunteers receive training and will always be supervised on site by qualified members of staff. All volunteers will be required to complete a taster session and DBS check.
This vital role provides back-up support to the evening Project Worker by being present on-site overnight. Without our overnight volunteers we would not be able to open our doors every night of the year. Overnight volunteers arrive at 9pm and assist the member of staff until around 11pm with tasks such as making tea, tidying up, chatting to residents. They then sleep in a private bedroom on our freshly made, comfy overnighter's bed, with access to free WiFi and use of the staff bathroom. Overnighters are requested to stay until 8am the following morning. Hours: 9pm – 8am.
The Nightshelter now opens all day on Sundays, a day when many other homelessness services in Winchester remain closed. This provides an opportunity for our residents to stay indoors, relax and enjoy a quiet day to themselves if they wish. Sundays have quite a casual, laid back feel to them: There is always a member of staff on duty but Sunday slots for volunteers run from 9am to midday, midday to 3pm and 3pm to 6pm. volunteers may help prepare vegetables for the evening meal or put out afternoon cakes. They may sort and pack away donated clothes. There is the opportunity to sit in the TV lounge and chat with residents or simply bring in a book or catch up on personal emails. The important thing is to be a “presence” at the Nightshelter because without a volunteer helper the Nightshelter is not allowed to open. In addition there are the usual evening and night-time volunteer roles.
Please note that residents are not usually present at the Nightshelter during the daytime.
To ensure that the Nightshelter remains a clean and welcoming place for residents. Tasks include cleaning, laundry and organising donated goods such as clothes and toiletries. Hours: Flexible.
To provide administrative assistance in our small, friendly but busy office. Tasks include typing, filing, sorting deliveries, answering the door and the phone, and generally helping out around the Nightshelter. Hours: Flexible.
Our residents love the daily home-cooked, nutritious meals that we serve, and which are an important part of the service we provide, but it can be a struggle for us to provide for 17 residents every evening. We are always looking for volunteers or groups who can cook a meal at home and bring it in for us to freeze or serve that evening. Hours: Flexible.
To either heat up or prepare the evening meal and serve it to residents. Hours: 6.30pm – 9.00pm.
To assist the evening Project Worker (the member of staff who is on duty in the evening) and generally help to ensure the welfare of residents. Tasks may include making tea, folding laundry, washing up, or just chatting to residents. Hours: 6pm – 9pm (5pm - 9pm on a Saturday)
At certain times of the year we are in need of additional volunteer support to help sort through donations. This happens mainly at Easter, Harvest and Christmas time, when you would be called in to help.
Do you have experience of fundraising? Could you help us to develop our fundraising strategy or co-ordinate activity to help us raise essential funds? We are interested in hearing from professional fundraisers who are willing to donate their time and skills on either a one-off or ongoing basis.
If you have a professional skill you would like to donate to the Nightshelter that you feel might be relevant to our service, we would love to hear from you. We have previously had expertise donated in the following areas: life coaching, drug and alcohol support, counselling, hairdressing, acupuncture, yoga and IT. We're particularly keen to hear from those who can offer support to us in the areas of training and social skills.
"I have been volunteering for 18 months, and it is by far one of the best things I have ever done. I have got back so much more than I have given. It has brought me joy – I would recommend the experience to anyone” Deb
"Through volunteering at the Nightshelter I have learnt patience and also professionalism. As a young person, I feel in many ways that I've learnt more from the Nightshelter than I can offer in return. I have scratched the surface of learning about some of the realities of homelessness, and this is something that I advocate generally to peers, friends etc. - the recognition that homelessness is complex, and cannot be disregarded as simply down to lack of shelter. I have learnt a lot about the Nightshelter, and it has made me more mature as a person. My understanding of homelessness has changed considerably and to me, this has changed how I am." Student volunteer
"I would say that volunteering as an overnighter at the Nightshelter is the most comfortable, and probably the easiest, volunteering role a person is ever likely to do - it is quite literally volunteering while you sleep! It doesn't encroach on your day, because the volunteer isn't needed until 9.00pm. Duties in the evening are light, and always end around 11.00pm because all the residents are required to be in their rooms then. The overnight volunteer gets their own room, a very comfortable bed, clean sheets, and use of the staff bathroom. At 8.00am the next morning (or 8.30am at weekends) I leave and start my day. Where is the work in that? It's also great to feel that I am helping so many people just by staying the night." Maggie