Do I have to be a Christian to volunteer?
The Winter Night Shelter is a project run by local churches of all denominations working together to fulfil the command of Jesus to love our neighbours. You do not have to be a Christian to be a volunteer but should be comfortable with our ethos.
I did volunteer training last year. Do I need to do it again?
A number of things have changed from last year eg. venues, coordinators, policies and procedures. We will also be having different people lead different parts of the training and may cover areas we didn't last time. Therefore, all volunteers for 2018 will need to attend one of the training sessions in May. We hope you will also be able to encourage new volunteers who may be feeling a little apprehensive.
Can I bring my children along to help?
Why do I need a Working With Children Check if there will be no children at the Shelter?
The Winter Night Shelter is serving some of the most vulnerable members of our community and there are certainly risks associated with throwing open the doors of our churches to offer hospitality and shelter. We have policies and procedures to mitigate those risks, however, we can never be sure of what will occur. We feel that it is not a good place for children to be in order to protect them from potentially witnessing behaviour and/or language that could prove traumatic for them. Children can be encouraged to support the project in other ways - collecting toiletry items, baking some cookies, donating some of their pocket money.
Most churches (and other organisations) require their volunteers to have this check, whether or not they work with children. We consider it good policy to require it. We are also aware that there could be an occasion when a family may need to use the Shelter. If we had no other guests on that day, then we would not want to turn them away.