Volunteering in Winter
Due to Covid-19 our operations will necessarily look different this year. The Council’s ‘Everybody in’ policy this winter means they will be offering temporary accommodation for all rough sleepers, and public health guidance has made it very clear that communal shelters with shared air space overnight and shared bathroom facilities should only be used as a last resort this winter. We therefore expect most homeless people will be spending the winter in individual rooms potentially isolated from their social groups and without access to cooking facilities. For this reason, the WNSMK’s primary focus will not be on emergency accommodation this season, but rather on how we rise to the challenge of ensuring that everyone who needs it has access to adequate food provision, welfare services and supportive companionship to combat isolation and loneliness. We will therefore be maximising all possible use of our centre and reception café, Unity Park Station (UPS, the old bus station) as a hub for the homeless this winter.
We have made significant changes to UPS, and designed our services to ensure that everyone has a safe place to visit, work and volunteer, taking into account guidance from central government, MK Council, Public Health England and organisations in sector. Nevertheless, we understand that some of our usual volunteers may be vulnerable for health or age reasons, or may live with clinically vulnerable family members and need to minimise all risks. If this is you then please know that we thank you for your support, and there are other ways to support our work such as by fundraising and raising awareness.
We are planning a phased volunteer recruitment process, as we begin some essential services with immediate effect due to the current situation and phase in additional plans over the coming weeks. Details of our current volunteer opportunities are listed on our volunteer application form, and we have many different roles both interacting with our guests and supporting behind the scenes. Please use this form to view details and apply.
Thank you for supporting us to care for the homeless during this very challenging time.
Volunteer Application Form
Reception café and base for daytime support services:
Unity Park Station (formerly The Old Bus Station), 401 Elder Gate, Milton Keynes, MK9 1LR.
The Ridgeway Centre, Featherstone Road, Wolverton Mill South, Milton Keynes, MK12 5TH.
Charity Reference No. 1149480
Registered Company No. 08232340