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 (but they are welcome, suitably supervised, to Donation Days and clearing up afterwards).
For young volunteers helping when guests are staying, 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
Due to the current circumstances around COVID-19 - which look to last well beyond Christmas - we are currently in discussion to see how we can still support our visitors in line with government advice and guidelines. We will update this page as soon as we have more information about Christmas Care 2020.
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.
During the day, shifts are each 4 hours long and (for general volunteers only) there is a longer overnight shift (11pm - 7am).
The Christmas Eve and Day shifts are always the most sought after. So we are extra grateful to those who can offer their time on Boxing Day and afterwards.
Volunteers may do more than one shift, but not consecutively.
There is an enormous amount of work in preparing for, and clearing up after, the four days of the Christmas Care project. So all help is very welcome in these periods too!
How can you volunteer at Christmas Care?
All potential volunteers are asked to attend one of our two evening Volunteer Meetings at St. Joseph's Catholic College, Ocotal Way, Swindon, SN3 3LR which are held during the preceding November. The dates and details of the meetings will be published on this page, as soon as they are confirmed.
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.
Each year we appreciate having a few volunteers with the following specialist skills:
chiropody and other personal health care; and
hair dressing and other well-being skills.