Catching Lives relies on the support of our volunteers to help us provide the unique and vital service that we offer to our clients. We are living in times when government funding to charities is being reduced or severely cut, and the funding that remains is often being given to larger, national charities.
The Catching Lives’ Open Centre is run with a small staff team – a full-time General Manager; 2 Project Leaders (one who doubles up as an outreach worker; 2 part-time Mental Health Nurses; 2 part-time project workers; a part-time Administrator and a client data coordinator. But we are also very fortunate to have the help, on a daily basis, of a large and extremely supportive team of volunteers. This team includes students, job seekers, working and retired people; from backgrounds as diverse as teachers, administrators, professional chefs, church groups, gardeners, full-time carers and Occupational Therapy and Social Work student placements. Without their continuing support, and that of new volunteers, it would be impossible to continue our work.
How can I volunteer?
If you would like to volunteer with Catching Lives, for a few hours a week or even more, please click here to view and complete the Volunteer Application Form.
Please give us as much information as possible about yourself and how you might like to help. There are tick boxes to complete with suggestions of the types of volunteering opportunities we may have available, and space for you to tell us of any particular skills or interests you may be able to offer to Catching Lives.
Once completed please email the form to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will respond to you as quickly as possible.
We would like to add that, perhaps, what we need most are people with fundraising expertise or who can rally support from the local community and businesses. If you think you can help in this way we would love to hear from you – so please make this clear on the application form.
The following are some of the most widely enjoyed volunteering experiences at Catching Lives:
Join our Kitchen Team
You may be interested to join our team of kitchen volunteers – who prepare, cook and serve breakfast and lunch for our clients. It’s a great way to meet other volunteers, get to understand the nature of the work we do here at the Canterbury Open Centre and to get to know our clients in a relaxed and informal environment. The kitchen shift is from 8.30am – 1.30pm Monday-Sunday. We ask that you commit to volunteering on at least one morning each week.
Afternoon Client Activities
Help with afternoon client activities is always welcomed – and very much relies on the interests and enthusiasm of the volunteers involved. So if you have a particular interest that is relatively easy to organise and would benefit our clients please let us know. Activities that have been organised recently include: quiz afternoons, film club, book club, gardening (in our adjacent garden), literacy & numeracy support and art activities.
We would love to hear from you if you would like to help with fundraising events. Click here for more details.
We have a bookshop in Canterbury, entirely run by volunteers, which raises money to support the homeless clients that access our services. You can find more information about the bookshop here
To apply to volunteer at the bookshop please contact 07899 458961
Volunteer Project Workers
This involves assisting the paid Project Workers in the core parts of the service; working one to one with clients, completing Risk and Needs assessments, advocacy, referral to accommodation and database work. This is a specialist role that offers full-training but is not suited to everyone. To this end we ask that everyone interested in this role complete at least 3 months as a general or kitchen volunteer; so that we can assess you and you can decide if the Open Centre is the environment for you.
We are currently looking for a number of new Trustees to join our Board. If you think you might be interested please click on the Becoming A Trustee and Person Specification links, below, to learn more about it. If it sounds like the role for you please download an application form, fill it in and return to the address at the top of the form.
If you would like to know more about what we’re looking for in our new Trustees you can email any questions to email@example.com or arrange to speak to one of our current trustees.
Visiting the Canterbury Open Centre
If you are thinking of getting involved with CatchingLives and would like to find out more about the work we do, you are welcome to visit the Canterbury Open Centre, but it would be helpful if you could let us know you are coming. Please phone 01227 464904 to arrange a visit. We are open Monday – Friday, from 8.30am – 4:30pm, and Saturday- Sunday 8.30- 3pm.
If you have a general enquiry, or would like confirmation of anything prior to completing the Volunteer Application Form, please contact us directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org