Volunteer with Hackney Winter Night Shelter
Hackney Winter Night Shelter is run by more than 750 volunteers at venues around Hackney. Volunteers are mostly local but are of all ages and backgrounds. Many have been with us for years – meaning we have an invaluable community of volunteers to keep the shelter going – but we always need new volunteers to replace those who leave Hackney and help us improve our offer to guests.
Find out more about the different volunteer roles and shifts.
How to get involved?
Every year we need new volunteers, not just to run the shelters and mix with the guests, but also to help with our fundraising and back office tasks. If you can help, please fill out our volunteer form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch.
What do volunteers do?
Volunteers offer a wide range of support – most volunteer one evening or one night a month. They prepare the venue, cook and serve food and offer our guests conversation in a friendly environment. Some stay overnight and others turn up first thing to serve breakfast and help clear up. We offer all our volunteers a training day with an induction pack and have in place a range of policies to ensure the safety and wellbeing of both guests and volunteers.
How does a typical night at the Shelter feel?
The shelter is a very warm, welcoming environment where we treat the homeless people who stay with us as our guests. We aim to create a homely place, where guests can relax and feel safe. Volunteers eat with the guests and share the evening with them chatting (in many languages), playing games and drinking tea and coffee. Overnight volunteers grab some sleep in shifts to make sure guests have a peaceful night. Breakfast is served by 7.30 and guests leave by 8am so the hall can be cleared. The last volunteers leave by 8.30am.
What else could I do to help?
If you have a talent we can use it! Can you speak a foreign language? Can you cook? Assemble a camp-bed? Organise the laundry? Play Scrabble?
Perhaps you’re great on social media, fabulous at fundraising, or brilliant with a spreadsheet. Volunteers are vital in helping us to fundraise for the Shelter.
If you’d like to help in any way we’d love to hear from you. Don’t hesitate to get in touch.