Thanks to the work of our volunteers, North London Action for the Homeless (NLAH) in provides a free, freshly cooked, vegetarian three-course meal twice a week to whoever need it. There are between 60-90 people that come to the drop-in centre, some of who are street homeless, and many who have accommodation but who may have other difficulties in managing their lives.
The drop-in would not be able to run without the volunteer team, who:
- Help prepare the food – chopping vegetables, buttering bread, etc.
- Put out tables and chairs, set tables, etc.
- Serve food to the clients.
- Deal with requests for help e.g. for clothes, take aways etc.
- Help wash up, clean the hall and tidy everything away at the end of the drop-in session.
Once volunteers have come to a few sessions, it becomes very natural that they begin to offer informal, friendly support to the people who come to the drop-in. The Volunteer guidelines cover this in more depth, as it is important to recognize the need for boundaries in this area of the work.
Any skills/experience necessary to volunteer?
Volunteering at NLAH provides opportunities to get alongside people who are often needy, vulnerable, and sometimes challenging in their behaviour.
A sympathetic attitude is more important than experience or knowledge, but volunteers should ideally be able to demonstrate:
- Some understanding of homelessness.
- Good team work skills.
- A readiness to get involved in whatever needs doing.
- A commitment to coming regularly to help at the project.
- Some catering experience would be helpful, though is not essential.
What’s in it for me if I volunteer?
In return, NLAH offers volunteers:
- Opportunities to learn and practice new skills, both at the drop-in and through training;
- Travel expenses, if required.
All volunteers are also welcome to attend management committee meetings, if they wish to be involved in how the project is run.
I’m interested. What next?
Please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more