Volunteering

AHAG enjoys the support of around 12 volunteers who help out at The Hub on a regular weekly basis.

It is only with this support that we can help to meet the needs of the people that we help.

If you are interested in volunteering please contact Michelle, the Hub Manager at michelle@ahag.org.uk.  She will be able to give you more information and arrange an informal meeting.

 

Please note that all volunteers must provide two references and have a DBS check.  You can download our Volunteer application form here.  Many people contact us to ask if they can help us out during the Christmas period.

St. Mary’s Church in Aylesbury organises a free Christmas lunch for people who may be alone or homeless at Christmas and always has need of volunteers. Please find out more using the following link: Free Christmas dinner.
Information for Volunteers

We are pleased to provide details of the type of work we do – although no two days are the same!

If, after reading this information, you feel you have the skills and qualities we are looking for, please complete the attached application form and we will contact you to arrange an informal discussion during which we will assess your suitability to join our team. If successful, you will be asked to attend one of the sessions at The Hub to give you the opportunity to meet members of the team and to experience the work we do, although you will not be expected to interact with clients on this occasion. In the event that we are then able to offer you a position as a volunteer, we will make arrangements for you to join us, subject to the receipt of satisfactory references. It is a requirement that you undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service check and a DBS form should be completed as soon as possible. Further details of AHAG policies will also be provided. We hope that you find this information useful but, if you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

THE HUB

The Hub is the Aylesbury Homeless Action Group’s principal way of staying in touch with the homeless in the Aylesbury Vale.  We are open three times a week, 12-2pm on Mondays and Wednesdays, and 10am-12pm on alternate Fridays at Walton Hall, Aylesbury, HP21 7QX. In addition, we offer an appointment only system at 2 Rickfords Hill, Aylesbury.

The service we provide includes:

  • A warm and friendly welcome.
  • Trained volunteers to take details of clients’ current housing situation. This information will be referred to a case worker, who will help find suitable accommodation and to maintain tenancies.
  • A trained AHAG employee who will liaise with other agencies if required.

For the street homeless we can also provide practical assistance, such as:

  • Shower and washing facilities
  • Washing machine and tumble dryer
  • Facilitate access to GP and Dentist services, using Walton Hall as a ‘care-of’ address
  • Assistance with acquiring ID and to fill out forms
  • Emergency food parcels
  • Bedding, blankets and clothing in winter months

VOLUNTEERS

Without volunteers, AHAG would be unable to fulfil its objectives and therefore the time and skills volunteers are willing to donate are invaluable to the charity. Commitment to working on a regular weekly basis is preferred although there may be some flexibility to this arrangement. Occasionally we do ask volunteers if they are able to work an unscheduled shift as sometimes circumstances mean that we do not have the required number of staff to complete the team, but we do understand that volunteers have other commitments.

Volunteer Role

All volunteers undertake a six week induction, being paired with an experienced member of the team during this period. Ongoing training is also provided on site or at external courses. At the end of the induction, volunteers are expected to be able to:

  • Lead or assist in initial meetings with clients
  • Lead or assist in meetings to update details of clients’ revised situations
  • Pass all information to the Hub Manager or Case Worker to action

In addition, it is hoped that volunteers will have the flexibility to:

  • Assist in the kitchen with the preparation and serving of refreshments
  • Help clients to access the shower and washing machine facilities
  • Make telephone calls or carry out other reasonable requests made by the Hub Manager

In certain circumstances, in discussion with the Hub Manager, it may be possible for volunteers to concentrate on one preferred role but this will depend on the skills of the team available to work on a particular shift.

We understand the challenges involved with working with vulnerable people in stressful situations and seek to recruit personnel who can remain calm and objective and are able to cope under pressure. Staff must always maintain professional relationships with clients who may have addiction, offending or mental health problems. We therefore wish to recruit volunteers who can demonstrate that they possess the following experience and personal qualities:

  • Experience of working in challenging situations
  • Work on their own initiative as well as part of a team
  • Reliability
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Good sense of humour
  • Willingness to undertake reasonable duties as directed by the Hub Manager
  • Empathetic attitude without becoming involved in personal situations
  • Understanding the need for and maintain client confidentiality