Get involved

About Volunteering with Open Door

 

Volunteers play a vital part in helping us to deliver the best service possible to the homeless and vulnerable adults in our community.

 

More than 90 volunteers of all ages, backgrounds and cultures give their time to Open Door.  People volunteer for many reasons, perhaps to give something to the local community or to gain valuable experience.

Why Volunteer?

 

Working as a volunteer at Open Door can be very rewarding, and provides:

 

  • The opportunity to join a team dedicated to helping disadvantaged people in the local community
  • Valuable work experience within a friendly and supportive environment
  • The opportunity for personal and professional development
  • The chance to meet other volunteers and Open Door staff at social events
  • Regular communication via newsletters
  • References for both existing and former volunteers

 

The range of volunteering opportunities  is diverse, from working within the kitchen to becoming an Ambassador for the charity.  We aim to match an individual’s preference and skills with the opportunities on offer. You can give as little or as much time as you wish.  Some roles will require regular commitment but others are more flexible.

Vacancies

Please complete an application form to register your interest.

Or contact the volunteer co-ordinator at info@opendoorstalbans.org

Current Vacancies

Kitchen Assistant (Drop in Service)

Kitchen Assistant (Drop in Service)

Time: 2.00pm – 4pm.

Hours Required: two hours

 

The role of a drop in kitchen assistant is vital at Open Door. Working with others, volunteers are responsible for preparing and serving lunch for up to 25 guests.

Tasks can include making sandwiches, heating soup, or making a pasta bake. Volunteers need to be able to cater for all dietary requirements and work with the ingredients available on the day. It can sometimes be a bit of a ready, steady, cook, with volunteers creating fabulous dishes, sometimes working with unusual ingredients!

The drop in runs from 2.30pm – 4pm and guests are welcome to have lunch and receive any support from the staff team that they might need.

The drop in can be fast paced, and volunteers need to be able to work quickly at times to keep up with food orders.

A full induction is given and volunteers will receive the relevant food safety training.

Normally two volunteers work alongside each other, committing to a regular weekly shift of two hours.

Kitchen Assistant (Night Shelter)

Kitchen Assistant (Night Shelter)

Time: 6pm – 8pm.

Hours required : two hours

Volunteers are responsible for preparing and serving a hot cooked meal to the 12 guests staying at the night shelter.

We have a monthly menu which includes popular dishes such as spaghetti bolognese, chicken curry, sausage, and mash etc. Pudding and desserts are always welcome too.

 

Volunteers cook and serve the meals ready for 7.30pm, usually working in a team of two.

Volunteers clear away after service, load the dishwasher, wash any pots and pans and clean the kitchen and dining area.

Full training is given, and all volunteers must complete Level 2 (online) training in food safety before joining a team. Training is provided by the charity.

Normally volunteers commit to a weekly or fortnightly shift of 2 hours.

Open Door staff are always available to answer any questions.

If you are a budding chef then this role might be for you.

Food Bank Volunteer

Food Bank Volunteer

Time: Flexible (Friday 1-3pm)

Hours required: 4 hours per month.

This role requires volunteers, or a group, who can give up their time twice a month, to collect food donations from the foodbank in St Albans and deliver it to Open Door. This role involves sorting all the dried goods into date order, making sure donations are rotated correctly and liaising directly with the Food Bank.  The volunteer would need use of their own car or van.

This role does involve collecting pallets of food, lifting and moving of goods. A volunteer with good mobility and who is comfortable lifting heavy items is essential.

Training in manual handling will be given prior to volunteering.

 

Donation pickup and delivery driver

Donation pickup and delivery driver

Time: Ad hoc

This role is on an ad hoc basis. The charity often receive offers of donations last minute. This role requires flexibility to collect donations locally at short notice as and when donations are offered.

The donations could be at any time but usually supermarket and shop donations of food, tend to be in the evening after 5pm.

 

Social Media Volunteer

Time: Flexible

Hours required: 2 hours per week

The role is to regularly update supporters via the Charity’s Facebook and Instagram page.

Adding posts and videos of campaigns, supporters and any other news when required. To signpost any specific questions to the fundraising co-ordinator and respond to comments in a timely manner.

The volunteer may also be working alongside other local partner agencies as required.

Fundraising Volunteer

Fundraising Volunteer

Time: Ad Hoc

Hours 2hrs per week

 

This role is to support the Fundraising Co-ordinator with fundraising activity throughout the year. This involves supporting fundraisers with their event and answering specific questions they might have.  keep fundraisers updated and generally maintain enthusiasm.

 

The volunteer should have experience in fundraising, and it would be helpful  if they understood fundraising platforms such as Virgin Money Giving and Just Giving.

 

Ambassador

Ambassador

Timing: Flexible (as required)

This role involves supporting the Publicity Co-ordinator by speaking up for the Charity at public events, such as community groups and school assemblies, to promote the Charity and to raise awareness of Open Door. The candidate should have experience in public speaking and be confident talking to a group.

Full training and a promotional video are provided, which can be shown during presentations.

Events are usually early morning (schools) and evenings for local community groups.

 

Harvest Donation Co-ordinator

Harvest Donation Co-ordinator

Timing: Flexible

Hours required: 2hrs per week.

This is role is to support the volunteer co-ordinator in the run up to Harvest and the subsequent weeks after the Harvest festival. The charity is fortunate to work in partnership with several local schools and churches who donate food supplies each year. The role is to liase with the schools and churches, answer any questions and organise suitable times for donations to be collected or delivered to Open Door.

To photograph donations and to offer thanks to the schools and churches for the donations.

The role also involves helping to sort through donations and to help organise them in the cellar after they have been received.

 

Winter Beds Volunteer

Winter Beds Volunteer

Timing: December to March

The Open Door Winter Beds Project is run by volunteers, who help support the smooth running of the Winter Beds Project each winter. Volunteers are needed in the evening, throughout the night and in the morning to perform a variety of roles including:

 

  • welcoming guests and booking in
  • supervising overnight guests
  • preparing breakfast
  • setting up and clearing down
  • laundry
  • administration

 

There are also volunteer opportunities to support the Winter Beds Project Manager in coordinating volunteers.

The Winter Beds Project runs between December and March each year. Volunteers are on a rota and only called upon if the weather becomes severe. Volunteers will be provided with full training, provided by Housing Justice, and supported by a Project Manager and an experienced team of staff from The Open Door Night Shelter.

 

Christmas Administration Assistant

Christmas Administration Assistant

Timing: December -January

Hours: 2 hours per day  (preferable) 

During the lead up to Christmas and beyond the Charity is extremely fortunate to be overwhelmed with kind donations from the local community. This role involves:

  • Liaising with potential Christmas volunteers and answering their questions.
  • Communicating with schools and community groups about their donations
  • Providing times to deliver donations.
  • Responding to any enquiries about donations during this period and
  • Supporting the Volunteer Co-ordinator with any other enquiries.

Please visit the Donating section for more information.​