Volunteer appeal to help rough sleepers this winter

Volunteering Opportunity

Rotherham Council is setting up an Emergency Winter Shelter in partnership with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service. The project will provide somewhere safe, warm and dry for the town’s rough sleepers when temperatures fall below freezing, whilst also offering a greater window for positive engagement.

They are looking for volunteers to help with this new initiative who will welcome entrenched rough sleepers and encourage engagement to address the causes of their homelessness and seek positive change.

When the temperature falls below freezing, the service will operate from one of Rotherham’s local Fire Service and Rescue stations from 9pm. They are looking for people to volunteer to help to cover the service on various shift rotations from 9pm to 7am.

You would be part of a group of volunteers who would be asked to work at short notice when the weather is forecasted to fall below freezing. You will work in partnership with the Council and other agencies who value and support this vulnerable people group.

Tasks include meeting and greeting rough sleepers, creating a safe space and providing a hot drink.

You will need to have the right caring skills and have experience of dealing with moderate exposure to health and safety risks associated with meeting the client group.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Support in the safe and smooth running of the Winter Shelter each night
  • Help to get guests into the shelter
  • To ensure accurate and appropriate record keeping including updating all relevant files
  • Work pro-actively with the community to provide support to the homeless


  • Ability to demonstrate empathy and compassion to individuals who are facing stressful/distressing circumstances
  • Experience of working collaboratively and pro-actively with multiple services and organisations. It is essential that you have knowledge and experience of working with vulnerable people, particularly rough sleepers and people at risk of becoming homeless, those with complex social needs, people with substance misuse issues and mental health problems.

You will need a basic DBS clearance as you will be working with vulnerable people.

In Return

An opportunity to work in the Rotherham area with an immediate start

Flexible and negotiable working arrangements – Working a minimum of 5 hour shifts Monday – Sunday

Please email your Expressions of Interest by 7 February 2019 detailing your experience to jill.jones@rotherham.gov.uk or post to Jill Jones, Homelessness Manager, Riverside House, Main Street, Rotherham, S60 1AE. To find out more details please telephone.  (07795 475398)