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. Alternatively you can pop to our day centre to pick a paper form up.
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 email@example.com. We will respond to you as quickly as possible. After we have received the form we will invite you in for a discussion about the role.
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:
We are looking for more volunteers to help us prepare and serve breakfast and lunch to our clients on weekend days.
We would like to hear from anyone who can spare a Sunday morning (even if every other week).
The volunteer shift is 8:30am – 1:30pm.
Please see here for a volunteer role description detailing the main responsibilities and also what people will gain from undertaking this role.
Canterbury Community Shelter
We run our winter night shelter between December and February each winter. To help the shelter run smoothly, we require a strong team of volunteers to carry out a variety of evening or overnight roles. For more details please see here
Help with 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
We are currently recruiting volunteer mentors to support our clients who have recently obtained accommodation after a period of rough sleeping.
This role requires a commitment of 2-5 hours a week. Full training and ongoing support are provided.
For more information please visit here- http://www.catchinglives.org/catching-lives-now-recruiting-for-volunteer-mentors/
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.
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