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10,000 volunteers needed to help homeless people this Christmas

04.10.2016 446 XX

Over 10,000 volunteers are needed across the country to provide warmth, comfort and vital services to thousands of homeless people as part of Crisis at Christmas 2016.

Crisis has today opened the online volunteer application process for Crisis at Christmas 2016. From night shift workers to nurses, dog handlers to dentists, dedicated volunteers are needed to help bring Crisis’ temporary centres for homeless people to life this Christmas.

Crisis at Christmas 2016 runs from 23 – 30 December and more than 10,000 volunteers will be needed to make it happen for guests this year. As well as warmth, companionship and hot meals, guests in London, Birmingham, Newcastle, Coventry and Edinburgh will receive healthcare and specialist advice on housing, work and benefits 

The centres are run by thousands of volunteers from all walks of life. Registration is now open at crisis.org.uk/volunteer with a huge variety of roles on offer, including:

  • General volunteers, who chat to guests, serve food, sort bedding and make sure the centres are happy, welcoming places to be.
  • Night shift volunteers, whoprovide the essential support that keeps Crisis' centres running 24 hours a day throughout the Christmas period.
  • Service volunteers, including medical professionals, hairdressers and caterers, who give guests access to services they usually miss out on.
  • Logistics volunteers, who drive vehicles, co-ordinate deliveries and provide translation services – all essential to making Crisis at Christmas happen.
  • Entertainment volunteers, such as musicians, artists and sports coaches, who use their talent to bring some Christmas cheer to guests’ lives. 

Homelessness has increased markedly in recent years, with rough sleeping more than doubling since 2010, rising by 30% in the last year alone.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said:

“Christmas can be an extremely isolating time for those without a home to call their own. Many of us can take for granted the companionship and shelter we enjoy at Christmas, yet one in four homeless people spends the festive period alone. This year, the number of rough sleepers in England has continued to rise at an alarming rate, and across the UK tens of thousands of people do not have a proper place to call home. Unfortunately, Crisis at Christmas is as important as ever this year.

“It is only through the generosity of thousands of volunteers that help make Crisis at Christmas happen for homeless people. Volunteers can not only bring some much-needed cheer to our guests but also encourage them to take up the life-changing opportunities on offer all year round at our centres across the country.”

Long-term volunteer Kerry Smith said:

“I started volunteering at Crisis four years ago after signing up as a general volunteer. Giving a little bit of my time to help others felt like the right thing to do.

“From the second I walked in I knew I had made the right decision. Seeing all the services available to those who needed it most and the enormous part the volunteers play in making it all happen blew me away!”

 

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