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28 May, 2019

Why should you volunteer?

Volunteers are invaluable to Homeless Oxfordshire. They bring a diverse range of skills, unique talents, life experience and passion to our organisation.

As the Volunteer Development Manager, I may be a little biased when I say that volunteering is simply a brilliant thing that anyone can do, but it really is true.  And in celebration of National Volunteers’ Week, I thought I’d try to persuade you to join our Volunteering Team. 


Why is volunteering so fantastic?

Why should you consider giving it a go? Well, here are a handful of excellent reasons…

– You’ll be contributing to a charity that does some rather amazing work

– You’ll expand our capacity, adding to our people power meaning we can do so much more to support our clients. As they say, many hands make light work…!

– You will gain new skills and knowledge

– Volunteering enhances a CV and adds to your employability

– You’ll be part of a fantastic team

– You’ll meet new people

– Volunteering is an opportunity to spend quality away from work or a busy lifestyle

– You will get that warm and fuzzy feeling, knowing you’re doing good in your community.


Not a bad start right? But wait, there’s more! Volunteering is downright good for you and your health. NCVO’s tweet shows that volunteering is linked to these rather brilliant things:

– Increased life satisfaction

– Increased self-esteem

– Reduced depression symptoms

– Better self-reported well-being

– Reduced brain shrinking

– Increased lifespan

How marvellous is that? Why wouldn’t you volunteer? On a more local level, we surveyed our very own volunteers and everyone who responded said they would recommend volunteering here at Homeless Oxfordshire, which we think is a rather good seal of approval!


So, how can you help?

If you’re looking to volunteer in Oxford, we have some great news. The majority of our volunteering opportunities are flexible, meaning you can fit volunteering into your busy lives when it works for you. Here are some of the ways you can get involved:


Helping out in the kitchen

Frequency: one-off/ongoing

Must be 18 years and over

Where: Oxford

Volunteering in our kitchen is our most popular volunteering opportunity. Five days of the week we need extra hands in our kitchen at O’Hanlon House. Over a lunchtime or dinner shift, you’ll help our chef prepare meals for as many as 70 people. Help in our kitchen makes sure no one goes hungry.

Lunchtime shift: Mon-Fri | 11-1.30pm

Dinner shift: Mon-Fri | 4.30pm-6pm

Our kitchen volunteers sign up to the shifts they can make. We know it can be daunting to ask you for a specific time commitment – not even I know what I’m doing in couple of weeks’ time – so we’re happy to have you on board when it works for you.


Running activities

Frequency: one-off/ongoing  

Must be 18 years and over

Where: Oxford

Do you cut hair, teach sports, dabble in arts and crafts? Have a hobby you could share with clients? We are always looking for people with unique skills, talents and interests to run sessions with our clients. Past volunteers have run cookery classes, creative writing sessions and arts and crafts workshops.

It’s so important to us that our clients spend their time meaningfully, developing new skills and knowledge and building their self-confidence. Activities help to make sure this happens. Spending a few hours focusing on something new, or rekindling an old hobby, can make all the difference to a client’s day. 


SLEEP OUT! volunteers

Frequency: one-off

Date: Saturday 6th July

Time: Various shifts available from 5.30pm

Where: Linacre College, Oxford 

Join us for our flagship event, SLEEP OUT! on Saturday 6th July 5.30pm onwards. We need volunteers to make sure everything on the day runs without a hitch. You might be welcoming visitors and signing them in at registration, serving mocktails, directing people around the site, manning our info stall or helping us to set up or, for the early risers out there, break down the event in the morning. 

You’ll also have the chance to enjoy the evening of entertainment we have planned and be a part of making the event unforgettable for participants.



Frequency: one-off/ongoing

Where: Anywhere

It cost the organisation £3.6m to run last year – that’s a lot of money. But in a time of austerity, more and more people are becoming homeless and we need to be here for them. Money raised makes sure we can help people in the way we know works – tailored to each client.

Fundraising is one of the long-lasting ways you can help. From holding a bucket collection or nominating us as your college’s charity of the year to holding your own charity event, you can be a part of our life-changing work. You’ll make a difference bigger than you could ever imagine.


What are you waiting for?

It takes just five minutes to get in touch and join Homeless Oxfordshire’s Volunteering Team.  If you would like to make a lasting difference by volunteering in Oxford, drop me a line at

We can’t wait to have you join our Volunteering team!

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