Volunteering for Caring at Christmas

For Christmas 2016 we will be using an online application system that will allow volunteers to register, give references, request shifts and book training.

Cick https://caringatchristmas.org.uk/volunteers/CaC_Home.php here to access the application system.  Please note that the online application system works best on a laptop or a windows PC.  Many users have had problems with accessing the site with ipads, tablets or mobiles.  Please call us on 01179244444 if you have a problem and we can sort your application over the phone.

We are keen to hear from all potential volunteers but especially those who are able to offer to work on overnight shifts.

The online application system is straightforward and easy to use.  We have created a step by step user guide which takes you through the application process.  Click here to see the user guide.  Of course, if you need any help with the application or have any questions about volunteering this year  please call Ed on 0117 9244444 (option 1).

The information we are asking for from you hasn’t changed, we’ve just made the process much easier for us to organise.  Please also note that this year we have a new role of Kitchen Supervisor, for those volunteers who have experience working in the kitchen.

We would not be able to provide the services we offer without volunteers. We welcome volunteers from all walks of life.

There are various ways in which you can help as a volunteer, regardless of your skills and experience. All we ask is that you are enthusiastic, and willing to learn and work as part of a team. For Christmas Volunteers, we ask that you commit to working at least one 4-hour shift over the Christmas period.

Please note that all volunteers must attend training and provide written references as these are essential to carrying out voluntary work with us.

We need 500+ volunteers during Christmas week. Some of the many volunteer roles are listed below:

  • Admin support
  • Cooking and other kitchen duties
  • Helping with store-keeping
  • Fundraising
  • Socialising with guests
  • Cleaning and other general duties

We always welcome volunteers with professional and specialist skills, including:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • First-aiders
  • Homeopaths
  • Therapists
  • Chefs
  • Masseurs
  • Hairdressers
  • Counsellor
  • Mental health workers
  • Welfare/Benefit advice
  • Chiropodist

Our guests always appreciate volunteers who are able to provide entertainment and host skills workshops, including:

  • Musicians
  • Magicians
  • Art and writing

Some examples of guests’ talents can be viewed below

What should volunteers expect?

All new volunteers are expected to attend an induction training course. This provides an awareness of what to expect when dealing with the charity’s guests and fellow volunteers. All shifts are under the control of trained supervisors.

Zero-tolerance policy

The Caring at Christmas charity has a zero-tolerance policy towards inappropriate behaviour. Guests are made aware that any form of fracas or harassment is unacceptable and is likely to result in ejection from the C@C premises.

We work hard to create and maintain a safe and friendly environment for both guests and volunteers. Incidents of poor behaviour are unusual, but do occur occasionally. Supervisors are trained to deal with such behaviour as quickly and effectively as possible.


Working with homeless people is very rewarding, but can be demanding. But don’t worry(!), we can provide training to supplement your existing skills and experience. Training and coaching available includes:

  • New volunteer induction
  • Managing difficult behaviour
  • Drugs awareness
  • Mental health awareness

  • Listening skills
  • Kitchen training
  • Basic food hygiene

Most training courses last between 2 and 4 hours.

What’s in it for you?

There are a number of ways in which you can benefit personally from working with the Caring at Christmas charity. These include:

  • Working with homeless people can be very rewarding and brings a sense of fulfillment from helping those less privileged
  • Development of personal skills, e.g. working together, leading a team, communicating and influencing, etc


Once you have gained experience of working with the charity over the Christmas period and have developed an understanding of our expectations and how things work, we would encourage you to consider becoming a supervisor. Supervisors play a vital role in ensuring that the charity’s Christmas week runs smoothly. This includes providing guidance and direction to less experienced volunteers, and ensuring that the volunteers are co-ordinated and work as a team. A minimum of 2 years volunteering experience with us is required before applying to be a supervisor.

Calling all Chefs!

Caring at Christmas are desperate for chefs/cooks, if you can dedicate a shift or two to the shelter and are able to attend two briefings before Christmas then please contact us.

Please only apply if you are sure you can commit to the dates and the task as this is a vital area of the running of the shelter.