Do you want to start a career in the field of support work?
Volunteering is the way to go about it. It serves as a fantastic way to develop the skills, experience and contacts to gain employment in the field. There is a high success rate of volunteers finding employment after only a few months of their voluntary work.
If you decide to become a volunteer with us, then you will be fully supported with acquiring the skills, experience and contacts required to get employment in the field. You won't just be sitting at the photocopier or anything boring like that!
At Ashford Place, we run a project, unique to London, a direct access assessment centre that is open 24/7, 365 days a year. Its goal is to provide emergency accommodation for up to 30 rough sleepers a night, providing them with the support needed to move into long-term accommodation and address their underlying needs.
We are moving into our 5th year, and in that time have provided emergency accommodation for over 400 homeless people. They have come from every corner of the planet, with so many different stories and journeys, but the same ambition: To live a better and more prosperous life.
We are looking for a committed, empathetic, imaginative and computer literate individual who have the determination to change the lives of others for the better, who will not accept things as they are with people sleeping on the streets of our city.
This role will allow you to be forever be part of the solution.
During your time at Ashford Place, you will have to ensure that the centre is a calm and ordered environment, and during particular shifts provide casework to the clients. You will be responsible for assessing new clients to the service and ensuring that they are provided with realistic and helpful routes back into accommodation.
This casework includes:
- Providing emotional support to vulnerable clients and build empathy with them.
- Assessing new clients and making recommendations to the team about which client to book into the Assessment Centre.
- Finding accommodation for these clients and using ingenuity in sourcing new accommodation routes.
- Establishing new and meaningful activities for our clients.
For an experience of diversity, there is no better place in the UK, as we have people from the all over the world including Eastern Europeans, Africans, South East Asians, and recent refugees from the conflicts in Syria, Eritrea, and Sudan. The people you meet, the stories they will tell, the peace you will get from the environment and the good you will feel in yourself for doing this, none of it can be overstated enough.
You can watch some of our videos including the visit of our patron Ben Bailey 'Doc Brown' Smith on our website.
Responsibilities of the volunteer support worker include:
- Providing support for clients in the daytime hours. You will be able to pick as many days as you like, from one to five. We are especially looking at people who are available on Monday and Wednesday.
- Ensuring that reception is attended to and that only those who are booked in are admitted to the centre.
- Setting up housing Benefit and other benefits, securing grants and loans, searching for new housing streams.
- Ensuring that the centre is an active and enjoyable place for clients, making sure that existing activities take place and proposing new ones.
- Showing empathy and resolving conflict in a high-pressure environment.
The post holder is required to hold a valid Enhanced Disclosure from the DBS.
To apply please send in CV and cover letter.
'Today is the first day of the rest of my life, and I can't stop smiling'
So said one of our clients a few years ago, as she left our centre with her suitcase, on her way to her new flat. A few months prior she had been sleeping rough outside a block of flats off Edgware Road. Today she wakes up and walks to her work along the Thames, where her flat is based. It was a great day.
And you can be part of that. You can make that happen.