Despite incredible challenges last Christmas, the commitment and bravery of our volunteers across Great Britain ensured that we could give warmth, love and companionship to people experiencing homelessness when it was most needed last year.
In planning for our services this Christmas, the welfare and safety of our guests has been at the forefront of all our decision making and our staff team have worked hard to come up with a plan to manage this risk, alongside ensuring that the support and housing needs of our guests are met.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Crisis Christmas centres. In 1971 Crisis volunteers hosted our first 'Open Christmas' with shelter and food for people experiencing homelessness. This incredible achievement shows the continued commitment of our volunteers, but it also highlights the social injustice that still exists in our society today. We don't want to be here in another 50 years time.
Based on what we learned during the pandemic, we’ve decided to make some permanent changes to Crisis at Christmas to better support people sleeping rough, and those with underlying medical conditions. Some of the changes last year really helped us to engage guests in our year-round services, and looking forward, these changes will ultimately help us end more people’s homelessness.
Last year, guests really benefited from having their own room and bathroom facilities, with evidence that this is a more effective and dignified way to connect people with advice and support, setting them on a path out of homelessness. That’s why we’ll continue to provide hotel accommodation to those who would otherwise be spending Christmas on the streets from the 23rd of December to the 5th of January.
We are still committed to ensuring our members are not homeless and alone this Christmas. As such, we will be opening a number of day centres which will provide hot food, access to advice and guidance, companionship, health, wellbeing and activities. Guests and the organisations we work with really benefitted from our digital services last Christmas and we will be continuing offer.
As a result of opening up day centres, we will be able to work with more volunteers, across a wider range of volunteer roles compared to last year. Although the number of volunteer roles will have increased we will still not be recruiting as many volunteers as in years prior to the pandemic.
We are still committed to ensuring our members are not homeless and alone this Christmas. As such, we will be delivering hot food, ensuring that our members have access to advice and guidance, providing a befriending service, and online health, wellbeing and entertainment activities. This will enable us to continue to offer support and connection in a socially distanced way and will also provide some new volunteering opportunities across the regions of Great Britain.
Whilst there will be more roles open to volunteers across Great Britain, there will still be fewer opportunities to volunteer than in years prior to the pandemic. As you click through to the regional page where you would like to volunteer there will be more information about volunteering with FAQs and details of how to sign up.
We strive to ensure that our services are welcoming, remain relevant and are fully accessible to everyone that we help and support. We are particularly welcoming of volunteers from diverse and other marginalised communities, as this helps us ensure the best experience for those that we are here to help. People who have lived experience of homelessness are also particularly welcome to apply.
As more of our locations open for volunteer applications they will appear here. If the city you are looking for isn't available yet, check back soon.
In London as a result of opening day centres again this year, we will have more volunteering opportunities than in 2020. There will be a wider range of volunteer roles available this year.
In the regions across Great Britain, there will also be more volunteer opportunities to support both remotely and in-person this year.
Across London and the regions, whilst there are more volunteer opportunities than in 2020, there are still significantly fewer roles than in years prior to the pandemic. This is partly due to how we have structured our services to offer the best experience for guests, but also to ensure we can manage the risks that covid still posed to our guests and volunteers.
Sorry you’re having trouble with our website. Please contact us on the email below corresponding to your location:
South Wales firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s great that you want to support us this Christmas! There are lots of opportunities to support us through fundraising or campaigning work. To find out more, click through the other blocks in the Crisis this Christmas website.
Great to have you volunteering with us. The confirmation email you received about your volunteering shifts this year has information on who to contact if you have a question. If you’re having trouble finding the email, please contact us on the email below corresponding to your location:
South Wales email@example.com
Volunteers will not be required to produce a negative test before they volunteer. However, we recognise that regular testing is one of the best ways to combat Covid outbreaks. We therefore recommend volunteers do a lateral flow test before their shift. If your lateral flow is positive, please do not come to your shift follow the NHS guidance and we urge you not to volunteer until you show a negative test. You can order free lateral flow testing kits here https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests
If you are displaying any cold or flu like symptoms (including gastric illness), or any of the symptoms associated with Covid we urge you to take a PCR test and to not to volunteer until you show a negative test. The NHS website describes typical symptoms here.
People infected with new variants may be more likely to have other symptoms, such as headache, sore throat or a runny nose, according to research from the Zoe Covid Symptom study and a recent ONS survey.
As we prioritise the health of our guests, volunteers who display any of the symptoms above will be asked to leave their shift.
Thankfully we will be returning to our usual recruitment process for volunteers to sign up. Registration will go live at different times depending on the region. As soon as a volunteer registration is live for a region – this region will appear at the bottom of this page to click through to sign up.
Be sure to check the Christmas volunteering page for your location which will have FAQs with up-to-date information on the positions we need in that areas. If Crisis is not operating in your local area, we would suggest you get in touch with a local homelessness charity or community group.
We do have working from home (or anywhere!) roles this year. Depending on your skills you could be a Connection Volunteer making wellbeing calls or a Remote Advice Volunteer, providing advice based on British law) to guests staying with Crisis at Christmas.
You can find out more about these roles here.
We ask every volunteer to seriously consider the welfare and health of our guests and other volunteers. Many of our guests at Crisis at Christmas have serious underlying health conditions and may not have received vaccinations. As those with full vaccinations are less likely to transmit Coronavirus we strongly encourage, wherever possible, all volunteers to be double vaccinated and have had a booster vaccination if they are eligible. We also encourage all volunteers to have their flu vaccination. Crisis will not be checking whether volunteers have had vaccinations.
We are committed to ensuring the health and wellbeing of our guests and will be asking volunteers to use relevant protective equipment including face coverings where there is close or prolonged contact. Any PPE that is required will be provided by Crisis, but volunteers are welcome to use their own face coverings if they prefer.
We’ll be following Government guidance closely and, if we need to, we’ll continue to adapt our services to ensure they are delivered in a way that keeps guests, volunteers and staff safe.
All Crisis at Christmas locations will be cleaned frequently and we will maintain the availability to perform a deep clean if required as the result of a confirmed Covid-19 case.
Please let Crisis know as soon as possible. You will be asked to provide details to the Track and Trace service. Crisis will follow the latest guidelines from Government on Track and Trace to ensure volunteers are notified.