Hackney Winter Night Shelter

Join our mailing list


1. How old do you have to be to volunteer?

The minimum age for volunteers is 18.

2. I don’t live in Hackney – can I still volunteer?

Yes absolutely! Most volunteers are from Hackney but many come from much further afield.

3. Do I have to volunteer every week?

No. the more you volunteer, the more you get put of participation but some volunteer once a week, once a month or some once a season.

4. Can my workplace volunteer?

Yes a number of companies organize themselves to cook a complete meal for fun and as a team-building exercise.

5. What kind of training do you offer?

We organise training courses for our volunteers, in understanding homelessness, drug and alcohol problems, First Aid, and dealing with potential aggressive behaviour (which is a rare occurrence at the Shelter). We encourage our volunteers to get more involved with running the Shelter – we need people who are prepared to be coordinators, fundraisers and charity trustees.

6. How exactly can I help?

Each year we seek new volunteers. Below is a list of the jobs that need doing; times vary slightly between shelter venues. We have many people for the welcoming time – but are always short of people willing to stay overnight, to cook, to help clear up in the mornings and to deal with the laundry.

Jobs include:

  1. Preparing the hall – 7pm to 8pm
  2. Cooking supper – 6pm to 9pm prepare at the hall or at home
  3. Make sandwiches – can be done at home and brought in
  4. Welcome guests – 7.30pm to 10pm
  5. Stay overnight – 9:30pm to 8am
  6. Make breakfast – 6.30am to 8.30am
  7. Clear up the hall – 7.00am to 8.30am
  8. Wash the bedding – during the week before the next shelter


7. If I offered to cook for the evening, how would I know much and what to make?

There are many other volunteers who have asked themselves the same question! Ask your coordinator for some tips, or to put you in touch with a fellow cook.

8. How do I apply to be a volunteer?

Email volunteer@hwns.org.uk or fill out our volunteer form.

9. What should I do if I know there is someone sleeping rough – how do I help?
To alert an outreach team to someone who is sleeping rough on the streets, call Streetlink on 03005000914 or visit their website – www.streetlink.org.uk

10. I’m already a volunteer but I’ve been away – how do I get back in touch with the right coordinator?
You should contact us directly.

Office address (for correspondence only, do not call):
Hackney Winter Night Shelter
Room 3, The Round Chapel Old School Rooms
2 Powerscroft Road
London E5 0PU

Hackney Winter Night Shelter on FacebookHackney Winter Night Shelter on Twitter
email: info@hwns.org.uk