Who can volunteer?
All adults are welcome to apply regardless of age, gender, race, nationality or ethnic origin, religion, disability or sexual orientation.
For insurance and safeguarding reasons, we are unable to accept volunteers under the age of 18 while Christmas Care is running.
For young volunteers, we need to be confident that they have the skills and maturity to be able to cope with any challenging issues that arise.
Volunteers' Personal Data
Volunteers are the lifeblood of the project and the key to providing a warm, safe and welcoming environment for the homeless, vulnerable and lonely over Christmas. They are organised into shift teams, each with a Shift Leader.
There are two types of shift team: general teams and those who work in the kitchen.
In 2021, we ran 9am - 9pm each day, with general shifts of 4 hours long.
In the kitchen, there were two shifts each day: 9am - 12:30pm and 12noon - 3:30pm.
Volunteers can do more than one shift, but not consecutively.
We offered a day-time café-style service, rather than a 24-hour facility.
How can you volunteer at Christmas Care?
We normally open our application process mid-autumn and we will announce it both on this website and on our Facebook page (facebook.com/ChristmasCareSwindon). Potential volunteers need to keep an eye on this website and/or "follow" our Facebook page.
2021 Covid precautions: We preferred volunteers to be fully vaccinated against Covid. We did require volunteers to wear masks and practice good infection control while we were open, taking into account the local Covid situation.
Do volunteers need to have particular skills?
Neither type of volunteer needs to have any specific formal skills.
General volunteers need to be good team players, willing to help with anything that's needed, empathetic with our guests and mindful of the issues that can arise. If you have any previous experience which demonstrates these qualities, please include details on your application form.
Kitchen volunteers need to be comfortable preparing and cooking homemade food, able to operate safely in a busy shared kitchen space and work as a team. We do also welcome volunteers with formal commercial catering / food hygiene skills/experience.
We do also appreciate volunteers with first aid skills and experience in relevant areas of counselling and social work.