Hackney Winter Night Shelter employs two full-time link workers and one part-time administrator to run the shelter. Everyone else – from venue co-ordinators and trustees to cooks, IT administrators and fundraisers – is a volunteer.
Volunteers allow Hackney Winter Night Shelter to open its doors each night and to help our guests find a route out of homelessness through our year-round work.
There is a lot involved in opening and running the shelter each night, but thankfully our volunteers are great at getting stuck in. There is something for everyone to get involved in. Volunteers prepare the venue, cook and serve food. Some stay overnight and others turn up first thing to serve breakfast and help clear up.
Whether you’re a first-timer or you’re a seasoned volunteer, we need you. Each night it takes about 20 volunteers to run the shelter, so that’s about 140 shifts to fill every week. You’ll never be on your own and shifts include:
SET UP: Prepare the hall (6.30pm-7.30pm) – make beds up and set tables
WELCOMERS: Welcome our guests (7.30pm-10pm)
EVENING COOKS: Cook an evening meal for up to 30 people (for 8.30pm)
OVERNIGHTERS: Stay overnight (10pm-7am sleeping in shifts). We are always particularly in need of overnight volunteers!
BREAKFAST COOKS: Cook breakfast (6.30-8.30am)
TIDYING UP: Clear up the hall (7am-8.30am)
(While we welcome their help, under 18s can only volunteer to set up from 6.30pm to 7.30pm before the guests arrive.)