Shelter Week 2023
Birmingham Christmas Shelter is opening its doors again in 2023 to provide hot meals and drinks, entertainment, services, emergency clothing and a safe and warm place to sleep for those who are homeless or just lonely over the Christmas period, a time when the majority of other services in the Birmingham area are closed for the festive season. This year we will also be back once again at our 2022 venue, St Catherine of Sienna Catholic Primary School.
Registrations to volunteer again at Shelter Week 2023 are now open.
If you have not previously applied to volunteer you can complete an online application form and an account on My Impact using this link
If you have previously completed an application, and wish to volunteer between the 24th and 28th December when our Guests are present, you must complete an induction even if you are a returning volunteer.
You do not need to book an induction if you are only volunteering on setup days (22/23 December) and/or closedown days (28/29 December)
We look forward to seeing you at Shelter Week 2023.
The "general" area needs volunteers who do not mind where they are placed. Due to the quick pace of the shelter week, we need general volunteers to be flexible and willing to support areas that require help. Jobs may vary from greeting guests when they arrive, serving food in the dining room, chaperoning people in services such as showers and the cinema room, ensuring everyone receives (and wears) a name badge and generally making sure things go to plan
Our kitchen area is managed by the Lead Chef. A team of professional chefs, giving their time and skills for free, ensure that the three full meals a day are served. Due to limited space, only a small number of volunteers are able to assist in the kitchen area. As a volunteer in the kitchen, tasks include cleaning, preparing food and washing up.
The Main Hall is the heart of the shelter, both the entertainments and tea-hatch are situated in the main hall. Being a volunteer in the main hall could involve socialising with the guests, sweeping up, clearing away plates or feeding the dogs. The Main Hall is also the place where men sleep, so late night volunteers will help with the setup of their sleeping area and early morning volunteers help to clear it away and get the out the tables and chairs. Pretty much anything goes!
The tea hatch/snack area is the busiest area of the main hall. Both guests and volunteers enjoy a lovely cuppa throughout the day and working in this area is never quiet as you will be speaking directly to guests and volunteers.
The Donations Room is where donations of food, toiletries, cleaning materials etc are catalogued, sorted and stored ready for use during Shelter Week. Volunteers working in this area will keep track of any donations used, wrap gifts that are given to guests on Christmas Day, identify suitable items for bingo prizes and make up the goody bags of food, clothes and toiletries to give to guests on the last day. It is generally only open from 09:00 to 17:00.
As no guests are present on the days when we setup and close down our Shelter, volunteers do not need induction training and we can welcome under 16's to help. The day starts at 10:00 and we aim to be finished within 5 hours. The main exception to this is our new volunteer team working through the night on the last day to pack the crates and keep an inventory of leftover items, ready to go into storage. Tasks include moving furniture, cleaning floors, mattresses, toilet, shower, kitchen and dining areas, unloading/re-loading the delivery van, putting up Christmas decorations and signs and setting up areas ready for use.
Our aim is to offer food, warmth, shelter and companionship to homeless and lonely people in the Birmingham area, over the Christmas period.
Our doors are open to all, irrespective of gender, colour, race, religion or sexual orientation.