Reading, Reading
£27,000 - £29,000 per year
Permanent, Part-time
Job description

Sanctuary Hosting is a charity working across the Thames Valley to match people who are homeless and in the asylum process, as well as people fleeing domestic abuse and human trafficking / modern day slavery by placing them in a rent-free spare room for an agreed period of time. 

Sanctuary Hosting is a registered UK charity managed by a board of trustees (the Management Committee). It was founded in 2015 by Oxford City of Sanctuary to provide one solution to the problem of homeless sanctuary seekers on our streets. The project matches destitute asylum seekers, refugees and vulnerable migrants with open-hearted volunteer hosts in the community. The service operates across the Thames Valley, mainly in Oxford, Milton Keynes, Marlow and Reading.

Sanctuary Hosting attaches great importance to ensuring volunteer support workers, volunteer hosts (henceforth referred to collectively as volunteers) and guests are properly assessed and supported and that everything is done to ensure that placements are safe and have the best possible chance of succeeding. All volunteers are interviewed and both DBS and reference checks are undertaken. Similarly, guests are interviewed and references are taken.

In the past five years we have helped 116 people from 27 countries who were homeless to find accommodation and provided over 22,000 nights of accommodation. The vast majority of the people assisted have no recourse to public funds (NRPF) and are destitute. To enable the delivery of the hosting service, Sanctuary Hosting has engaged 80 households to host and worked with over 50 support worker volunteers.

Overall Purpose of the Post

The Director has overall responsibility for the safe and effective delivery of the service. Reporting to the Management Committee they ensure that the work is carried out to meet the requirements of funders and within budget. They manage the Service Co-ordinator (Oxford & Milton Keynes area) and Project Worker (Reading & Marlow area) to ensure the effective recruitment, training, support and supervision of all Sanctuary Hosting’s volunteers. They oversee the staff and volunteer team in their processing, assessment and response to guest referrals as well as the coordination, facilitation and support of hosting placements.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

Management of the charity

Work with the Management Committee to develop and implement operational plans, policies and procedures to ensure the scheme functions effectively and safely.

Work with the Fundraising Committee to identify funding opportunities and work with the Committee to make appropriate funding applications, respond to fundraising opportunities and build relationships with individual donors.

Ensure all monitoring and evaluation reports are delivered on time, according to the requirements of the funder.

Work with the Management Committee to extend coverage of the hosting scheme to other parts of the Thames Valley where there is unmet need.

Develop mechanisms for collecting feedback from guests and volunteers and ensure this feedback is used to develop and improve the Sanctuary Hosting scheme.

Collate and analyse information on the work of Sanctuary Hosting, producing statistical and narrative reports about the scheme’s performance for funders, regulating bodies and the Management Committee as required.

Ensure service standards, volunteer competencies and health and safety procedures are implemented and maintained across all areas of activity.

Develop volunteer recruitment policies, systems and procedures, working with the Sanctuary Hosting Management Committee.

Keep abreast of immigration and asylum policy with a view to working with the Management Committee to respond and adapt to the needs of people who are homeless with no recourse to public funds in the Thames Valley.

Management of staff and volunteers

Carry out line management of the Service Coordinator and the Project Worker, ensuring they are effectively supported, supervised and trained.

Oversee the recruitment of volunteers according to the scheme’s procedures, ensuring that they are assessed and inducted.

Oversee the recruitment, training, support and supervision of volunteers to support guests and hosts, ensuring that all volunteers have a clear understanding of their role and remit and receive appropriate support and supervision.

Oversee the group peer support for the Sanctuary Hosting community (guests, hosts staff and support workers) providing opportunities for all to share their experiences and learning.

Develop guidance, tools and training resources and deliver training to enable volunteers to carry out their roles safely and competently.

Ensure that volunteers are fully aware of and trained in appropriate health and safety procedures and risk assessments.

Develop signposting and referral resources to ensure guests with additional needs can be supported appropriately.

Support staff and volunteers to resolve complex issues that might arise within the Sanctuary Hosting community.

Referral and caseload management

Oversee all referrals to the hosting scheme to ensure they are assessed and responded to in a timely and professional manner.

Work with the Welfare Committee to manage guest placements and financial support, ensuring that any difficulties are resolved in an appropriate and timely manner.

Promotion, communications and developing partnerships

Be responsible for the Sanctuary Hosting monthly newsletter and for regular activity to promote the service on social media, aiming to recruit more hosts, volunteers and donors.

Proactively promote and publicise the Sanctuary Hosting scheme through attending relevant forums, meetings and events and giving presentations about the scheme.

Work collaboratively with members of the Management Committee and actively seek opportunities for collaborative and joint working relationships externally, which will enable the scheme to better meet the needs of its service users

Work productively and appropriately with existing partners including Citizens Advice Reading and the British Red Cross.

Build and maintain relationships with statutory, voluntary, community and faith organisations working with refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants in the Thames Valley Area and nationally as necessary.


Develop appropriate GDPR compliant systems to record personal details, availability and whereabouts of the Sanctuary Hosting community and ensure these are maintained by the staff team.

Develop effective systems for tracking actions carried out on behalf of individuals referred to the scheme and ensure these are maintained by the staff team.

Oversee timely and professional processing and response to enquiries.


Implement and adhere to Sanctuary Hosting’s policies and procedures, including Health and Safety and Equal Opportunities.

Make known to the Management Committee any circumstances, errors or omissions that may have a detrimental effect on scheme and its stakeholders.

Work with the Sanctuary Hosting Chair and Treasurer to assist with developing, implementing and managing operating plans and budget.

Work flexibly in accordance with the needs of Sanctuary Hosting, including undertaking out of hours and weekend work as required.

Commit to on-going professional development by participating in regular clinical and management supervision, relevant external meetings, forums and available training.

Person specification

Job Title: Director


  • Experience of developing and delivering high quality, confidential, user-centred services for vulnerable people** E
  • Experience of providing support services to refugees, asylum seekers and/or vulnerable migrants** E
  • Experience of recruiting, supporting, managing and supervising volunteers and staff** E
  • Experience of fundraising and reporting on existing grants. **E
  • Experience of developing and maintaining effective working relationships with external stakeholders**E
  • Experience of developing, monitoring and evaluating services or projects in response to service user needs** D
  • Experience of supervision of staff and volunteers in challenging, frontline services ** D
  • Experience of delivering participatory training **D

Knowledge/ Technical Skills

  • Working knowledge of issues affecting refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants**E
  • Working knowledge and understanding of legal provisions and good practice in relation to vulnerable people**E
  • Knowledge of statutory and voluntary services that provide support to refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants**E
  • Understanding of how to develop and implement operating plans, policies and procedures**D
  • Knowledge of health and safety good practice in a service delivery environment**D
  • Understanding of how to collate and interpret service delivery information including statistics and user feedback**E
  • Competent user of email, Word, Excel, databases, internet and social media**E
  • Understanding of how to manage and monitor budgets**E
  • Excellent interpersonal skills including conflict resolution and consultation skills**E
  • Ability to communicate with people of diverse cultures and empower people by identifying and working with their strengths**E


  • Ability to write clearly and accurately and give verbal presentations**E
  • Ability to work flexibly as part of a team**E
  • Ability to motivate, develop and supervise others**E
  • Ability to manage own time and workload and prioritise a range of competing tasks within the working hours allocated **E
  • Ability to monitor and improve service quality through active consultation** E​


  • Able to ensure equal opportunities and anti-discriminatory practices and promote diversity**E
  • Able to recognise and value the contribution of others**E
  • Able to take responsibility for own actions and to undertake reflective learning**E
  • Able to uphold confidentiality in all aspects of the work with service users, volunteers and colleagues**E
  • Able to maintain boundaries in a demanding, frontline context**E

Special Circumstances

  • Able to work flexible hours, including some evenings and weekends as required**E
  • Able and willing to travel in Oxford and the surrounding Thames Valley area on a regular basis as necessary**E
  • Current driving licence valid for use in the UK and access to own vehicle**D

E = Essential criteria

D = Desirable criteria

More about Sanctuary Hosting
Sanctuary Hosting

Sanctuary Hosting matches homeless asylum seekers, refugees and vulnerable migrants to people in the community who offer a spare room, at ... Read more

Refreshed on: 31 December 2020
Closed date: 30 January 2021
Job ref: Director role
Tags: Management, Volunteer Management

The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.