Category Archives: Volunteering

Would you like to volunteer at a London night shelter?

Read about Bruce Miller’s experience of volunteering at a night shelter

Many of the night shelters around London are organised on the basis of local churches grouped into multiples of seven, each agreeing to have homeless people stay for one night per week. This involves providing an evening meal and then distributing bedding for them to sleep in the church hall, providing breakfast the following morning and then storing the labeled bedding for the same time next week. This would go on for a period of about six months starting in October and finishing in March.

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St John the Baptist Church, Isleworth where Bruce volunteered.

So there are opportunities to help with cooking the evening meal, preparation of the men’s beds for sleeping, supervising the night shift and helping with breakfast and clear up in the morning.  My wife helped to cook the evening meal and this involved taking the food down to the shelter for about 7pm and collecting the empty, washed, container at about 10pm.  Other volunteers were actually in the building serving the meal and washing and cleaning up afterwards. So there are lots of ways to serve.

I got the chance to volunteer on a Thursday morning for eight weeks, during February and March 2017, at a night shelter in St. John’s Church of England, Isleworth. The work involved being there from 6:00-7:45am supporting between twelve to fourteen homeless men along with another five or six volunteers.

Specifically this meant helping to set up the large breakfast table, then as each man woke up, putting each person’s mattress and bedding into the storage room; helping to prepare breakfast and sitting with the men and talking together over breakfast; clearing up after breakfast, then sweeping , cleaning and preparing the hall for the daycare and nursery session that was immediately to follow. It was physical work but very encouraging to engage with the homeless men and meet with other volunteers in the community.  It was also sad, as I listened to their stories of how they came to be homeless.

I remember one morning feeling sorry for myself, having to get out of bed so early, then I remembered the guys that I was about to serve.  They were in a hall, sleeping on a 2” thick sponge mattress, with no family around them, all their possessions in a rucksack, and living on the streets.  I got out of bed with a better attitude; shame on me for complaining.  Truly, it is better to give than to receive.

The time I spent quickly flew by and on the last Thursday morning I expressed to one of the other volunteers that I was sad it was finished.  It felt so good to serve, and I hope that the relationships I have formed and this small act of service will be pleasing to God.

If you would like to find out more about volunteering at night shelters over the winter please contact Jane Whitworth at jane.whitworth@hopeworldwide.org.uk

 

 

 

A Volunteer’s account of serving for two weeks at the Village of HOPE in New Delhi, India

On the evening of Boxing Day 2016 my friend Alison Clark-Morris and I flew out to Delhi to spend two weeks at the Village of Hope; a village which has been built for Leprosy sufferers and their families. Ali is a podiatrist (or, as she became known in India, “the foot doctor”) who works at a chiropractic clinic in Pangbourne and Theale Wellbeing Centre, Berkshire. The Village is run by the charity Hope Worldwide.

Volunteer podiatrist in Village of Hope

What has been achieved over 25 years was inspirational. People with leprosy not only suffer from the illness but because of the associated stigma, the whole family lose their jobs, cannot marry and are cast out of the community, usually ending up as beggars. The Village provides not just a home but also microcredit loans to set up small businesses and training in computing, nursing and sewing. The children and grandchildren of the original 800 residents are now getting jobs and building lives outside the Village.  We saw a busy, happy, vibrant place, with weddings, religious festivals and parties seemingly every day. (We were included in them all!).

Leprosy is now almost eliminated from India, only 127,326 new cases being diagnosed each year. Early detection is essential to avert disability. But for the previous generation, the infection left life-long neuropathy (nerve damage) in feet and hands leading to pain, disfigurement and loss of sensation. Loss of sensation leads to serious foot ulcers, similar to those sometimes seen on people with diabetes in the UK. It is these ulcers that, if not managed carefully, result in amputations and disability.

Volunteer nurse in Village of Hope

The bandaging clinic that treats the ulcers was where we worked alongside Raju. Raju contracted leprosy at 13 and ran away from home to protect his family and seek treatment. He was one of the lucky ones with no permanent damage. The Village trained him in wound care and while he cannot read or write he is a highly skilled medical technician, treating up to 100 patients a day. Ali’s very specialist skills made a real impact in just a fortnight, treating the ulcers and providing orthotic padding to relieve the pressure that causes the ulcers. She helped Raju further improve his skills and left a simple programme of education in self help for the residents to prevent new ulcers.

Our final job was to work with the charity to draw up an investment plan for the clinic to provide more up to date equipment (lights, steriliser, water supply etc.); a female assistant to work alongside Raju to deal with the many female leprosy sufferers who feel too ashamed to be treated by a man and finally the means for more professional podiatrists from the UK or elsewhere to visit as volunteers. Thankfully the first two of these three goals have already been achieved and there are plans for other podiatrists to go out next January. The picture below is of Raju and his new assistant.

Assistant technician in Village of Hope

Thank you to all those who have supported this worthwhile programme. If you would like to contribute to the continuing work of the Village of Hope please donate today.

Hope Jam – Talent Showcase

10th June 2017

Venue: The Star of Kings, 126 York Way, Kings Cross, N1 0AX

Time: 6pm

Tickets: £10

Ticket Website: https://hopeworldwide.charitycheckout.co.uk/hopejam


 

 

 

 

 

Two Million Steps for Two Step: Sat 16th April 2016

Come and join us on the morning of Sat 16th April as we walk from our homeless services (Two Step) office in Angel to our recovery services (ODAAT) near Oval to raise money to house the homeless.

Two million steps slide 10th may

For more details, registration and to order T-shirts please click/tap on this link Register here . 

The need: Government cuts mean that there is less money to fund our service even as the the need is rising. We still want to help those vulnerable people who are desperate to find somewhere to live so we hope you can take part in the sponsored event this year.

Details of the walks:

Main Route: Two Step to Oval (9km)   Arrive 9.30am – 10.30am at 360 City Road, EC1V 2PY and walk in a group of about 10.

Like last year, we will be inviting people housed by Two Step to participate so that our supporters can meet some of those helped by the programme. Click/tap here to see a 3 minute video of last year’s event to get an idea of what it will be like.

Sights along the way:  Lincoln’s Inn Fields, St Martin’s in the Fields, Trafalgar Square, River Thames, London Eye, Battle of Britain memorial, Houses of Parliament,  The Big Issue, Oval Cricket ground .     A family-friendly quiz will be provided for the route.

Family Walk (4km) 10.45am at Embankment tube for 11.00am start – ‘Treasure Hunt’ sheet will be provided

Reduced mobility walk (3.5km) 10.45am for  11.00am start at Westminster tube

Short Walk (1km) 11.45am for 12noon start at Vauxhall Tube

Longer Walk (11km)   Extra  sights for the  11km walk are BFI IMAX, parliament square, Westminster Abbey and partner organisations in Victoria. Early bird start time of 9.30am recommended.

End of Walk Reception starts around 12.45pm. Venue: St. Marks Kennington SE11 4PW

How will it work on the day?

Sign-in and collect T-Shirts (if not received already) from Two Step office from 9.30am on Sat 16th April. There will be a staggered start so those that arrive first will leave first. For safety reasons walkers will be encouraged to walk in small groups.

Directions and descriptions of sites along the way will be e-mailed out in advance and provided on the day if you need them.

(For those that are only able to walk part of the route, various options will be made available i.e. starting the walk at a point  along the route – all participants are invited to a reception at St Mark’s Church at the end of the walk. If you are unable to join us on the day but would like to do a walk elsewhere instead that is fine – just sign up as usual and mail us at events@hopeworldwide.org.uk)

Be part of our future: We will also take the opportunity to update you on future plans, opportunities and challenges so that you can be part of our shared future. This will be a challenging and interesting year as we remodel our service in light of the funding challenges and changes to the benefit system. For example, we would like to explore ways of using volunteers to support homeless clients before and after they move into properties to help them settle into a new area and move on with their lives.

Registration details: We look forward to seeing you on Sat 16th April. To register and order T-shirts please click/tap on this link Register here .

t shirtThe T-shirts design is shown here though it won’t have a year on it so can be used for future events.

Adult T-shirts costing £4 are available in S,M,L,XL and XXL.  If you want to order children’s T-shirts costing £3, the dimensions of the various sizes are shown below in cm. You will need to pay a £1 registration fee to be able to order T-shirts.

 

If you already have a T-shirt from last year (pictured) or don’t want to buy a T-shirt you can register for free! Register here

T-shirt sizes

Children’s T-shirt Dimensions in cm

 

‘Two Million Steps for Two Step’ Sat 16th April 2016

We have started planning for our sponsored walk ‘Two million steps for Two Step’ on Saturday 16th April 2016. The 5.6 mile (9km) walk will be from our Homeless Services (Two Step) near Angel to our Recovery Services (ODAAT) in Kennington.

4 london eye

Walkers taking a break and photo opportunity opposite the London eye.

To view the video of the 2015 event click here: Video of 2015 event.

If 200 people take part, we will walk two million steps between us all.
To register interest, please e-mail events@hopeworldwide.org.uk stating your Name and location e.g city or region of London e.g. North, East etc. and we will be in touch in the new year with registration details.

 

Student Placement: Two Step Homeless Project

Student Placement Job Description – Homeless Project
Organisation Name: Two Step Project, HOPEworldwide UK,

Website: http://www.hopeworldwide.org.uk Location of Placement:
2 placement positions in Islington near Angel tube station.

Application Process:
Please send CV and cover email to m.cameron@hopeworldwide.org.uk Closing Date for Applications:
2nd of Nov 2015

Month Placement to Commence: January 2016

No of Posts Available: 2 placements, both in Angel, Islington
Salary: Unpaid
Expenses: None apart from travel
Travel costs paid to and from work: Travel to work within zone 1-4 will be covered by the charity. Preferred Degree:
No specific discipline, but Interest in homelessness and/or housing an advantage
Working 3,4 or 5 days per week for min of 75 days total.

Job Title: Assistant Housing Support Worker

Description:

Two Step is a homelessness charity assisting single homeless people. We are 4 staff members on site who house around 400 homeless clients a year. Clients are vulnerable adults, sometimes with health or mental health issues, and we support them throughout the process of being housed and up to 6 months after they have been housed in private rented accommodation. The support is aimed at getting homeless clients housed and assisting them in sustaining a tenancy with a private landlord.

Job Description

The 2 Assistant Housing Support Workers would gradually, over the time working here, participate in the whole process of housing homeless clients from initial contact with client to seeing them housed.

• Dealing with referrals from other agencies, booking appointments, reporting progress to agencies. Following up with clients on the phone.
• Conducting client Interviews (45 min).
• Filling out assessment forms during the interview with the client.
• Explaining housing options to clients.
• Participating in daily discussions about clients and issues and participating in weekly staff meetings.
• Some of the time in the placement (around a third) will be related answering the door, meeting and greeting clients in reception, making them feel welcome, making them tea and coffee and picking up answer phone messages, finding case files etc. On very busy days (once a week typically) you would also be required to sit in our reception and work from there.

Skills development opportunities:

• Getting an understanding of homelessness in London and the issues associated with homelessness.
• Gaining the confidence to deal with vulnerable clients in a professional manner.
• Learning to communicate well with vulnerable people, striking the right balance in regards to showing empathy, but at the same time also managing expectations about entitlements.
• Learning over the stay of the placement to make informed judgements about the best course of action for particular clients and participating in discussions with colleagues..
• Developing an understanding of professional boundaries, confidentiality and adhering to an organisations policies and procedures.
• Developing an understanding of the basics of the benefit system and especially Job Seekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance and Housing Benefit. You will also get further insight into housing issues in London.
• Being able to reflect on ways of dealing with challenging situations and challenging client behaviour.

Skills and personal characteristics required for placement positions:

• You need to be someone who really enjoys being part of a small supportive team and be willing to help out whatever the need is.
• As our training mainly consists of shadowing and mentoring, it is essential that you are able to constantly pick up new skills and insights in the role, asking questions as you go along. It is also important that you enjoy this way of working. You will work closely with a mentor on a daily basis who will offer support in the role.
• A personal high standard when it comes to diligence is required in the role (in filling out forms and in all communication with clients)
• The role requires a calm, friendly and emotionally resilient person.

If you are interested why not follow link to Sarah’s interview about her student placement experience?

http://www.hopeworldwide.org.uk/CharityHome.asp?cat=2

Route-map for ‘Two Million Steps for Two Step’

Click here to see routes on a map:  Routes for Two million steps

Two Step (Angel) to ODAAT (Oval) 9km:   Arrive 9.30am – 10.00am at 360 City Road, EC1V 2PY. Sights along the way:  Lincoln’s Inn Fields, St Martin’s in the Fields, Trafalgar Square, River Thames, London Eye, Battle of Britain memorial, Houses of Parliament,  The Big Issue, Oval Cricket ground .     A family-friendly quiz will be provided for the route.

Family Walk (4km) 10.45am at Embankment tube for 11.00am start – ‘Treasure Hunt’ sheet will be provided

Reduced mobility walk (3.5km) 10.00am for  10.15am start at Westminster tube

Short Walk (1km) 11.45am for 12noon start at Vauxhall Tube

Longer Walk (11km)   Extra  sights for the  11km walk are BFI IMAX, parliament square, Westminster Abbey and partner organisations in Victoria. Early bird start time of 9.30am recommended.

End of Walk Reception starts around 12.45pm. Venue: St. Marks Kennington SE11 4PW

Please register online  via the link below: http://www.everydayhero.co.uk/event/TwoStep2015 

When you click register, you will be directed to ‘Eventbrite’ who handle T-shirt orders.  T-shirts must be ordered by Tuesday 7th April.