How to volunteer

Shelter Week 2017 has now finished. We will start looking for volunteers in the last quarter of 2018 to register for induction in order to be able to volunteer in Shelter Week 2018.

Areas to volunteer in

During shelter week the premises are split into seven areas, each performing individual functions to keep the shelter running. These are:


The "general" area needs volunteers who do not mind where they are placed. Due to the quick pace of the shelter week, we need general volunteers to be flexible and willing to support areas that require help. Jobs vary from welcoming guests to our shelter, serving food, sorting bedding and generally making sure things go to plan.


Our kitchen area is managed by Jim who is a member of the trustee board for the charity. Chefs from the University College of Birmingham are the chefs who ensure that the three full meals a day are served. Due to limited space, only a small number of volunteers are able to assist in the kitchen area. As a volunteer in the kitchen, tasks include cleaning, preparing food and washing up.

Reception Area

In reception, volunteers are expected to greet guests, other volunteers and even the security team; ensuring everyone receives (and wears) a name badge. On the reception desk volunteers need to ensure all volunteers have signed in and out.


We are lucky to be able to offer services to our guests, ranging from from dental work to manicures. To ensure that guests get an opportunity to access these services and to support the service providers, we need volunteers to manage the guest list for each service. As a volunteer you will be responsible for coordinating the lists and escorting guests to the correct room.

Tea Hatch/Snacks

The tea hatch/snack area is the busiest area of the main hall. Both guests and volunteers enjoy a lovely cuppa throughout the day and working in this area is never quiet as you will be speaking directly to guests and volunteers.

Showers / Washroom facilities

During shelter week, we need volunteers to ensure that all guests have access to the showers if they wish - this involves organising a shower list, liaising with reception and those guests who have signed up, escorting guests to the showers and maintaining adequate supplies of toiletries, underwear and socks. The toilets do of course need to be regularly checked and cleaned! but this role is a great way to interact with our guests and provide a fabulous service that they may not have had access to for some time.

Main Hall

The main hall is the heart of the shelter, both the entertainments and tea-hatch are situated in the main hall. Being a volunteer in the main hall could involve socialising with the guests, sweeping up, clearing away plates or feeding the dogs. Pretty much anything goes!

Cinema Room

The Cinema room is where guests will be able to relax and watch the latest films that have been released on iTunes. As a volunteer you will be in charge of polling guests what films they would like to watch and then to setup and play the film. You will be also in charge of interval break and ensuring that the room is kept tidy.

Being a service provider

Our guests are always very grateful for the special services provided by our volunteer service providers as it can be the only time each year that they have access to these services.

In the past, we have been able to offer our guests:

  • Hairdressing
  • Chiropody
  • Dentistry
  • Nursing
  • Access to a doctor
  • Access to a solicitor
  • Holistic therapies
  • Beauty treatments

We are always looking to increase this list and would be delighted to hear from any potential new service providers.