Volunteer at YRP

Thanks for your interest in volunteering at YRP.  Currently we have a full compliment of volunteers and are not recruiting.  Please keep checking this page as once we have vacancies they will be detailed here.

 

 

Why Volunteer?

Volunteers bring so much to an organisation and here at YRP, we welcome the support we receive from those who want to help us and our clients.  Most of our volunteers have some time on their hands and feel that they are able to help people in their community and they also get something back, be it work experience or knowing that they are making a difference however small.

We offer a comprehensive and specific induction package for all of our volunteers which includes organisational policies and procedures.  You will have a conversation with our volunteer coordinator and match your skills and availability with what we need help with here.

What will I be doing?

In discussion with the volunteer coordinator, you will be offered a role and time that is convenient for both you and the organisation.  We are really keen to utilise any specific skills you may have, but if you would like to do something completely different, this will be discussed.

Examples of the work some of our current volunteers undertake include:

  • Meet and greet the clients
  • Assisting clients with form filling.
  • Helping with CV writing.
  • IT skills
  • Helping in the kitchen, preparing meals.
  • Leading or helping in discussion groups.

How do I volunteer?

If you are interested in becoming a YRP volunteer please email fay.kearley@yorkroadproject.org.uk and she will explain a little about volunteering and if appropriate, will arrange a time for you to come in, meet her and have a look around the project.

Volunteering can be very rewarding but is not for everyone.  Clients can display challenging behaviour at times but they do appreciate the support and compassion that you may be able to offer.  So, if you have time, please come and join the team here - we have a lot of fun too!

 

Volunteer testimonies

Jo

My name is Jo. I grew up in Woking and came back to live here 7 years ago. I was shocked to see how much the levels of homelessness had grown since I was a teenager.

Over the last couple of years, I have been discerning a vocation to the priesthood and last year I was selected for training studying part time at “Vicar” school in Oxford. As part of my training I must do a community placement which I immediately thought of the York Road Project.

In my previous careers I have worked on social policy with the government and NGO’s, but the YRP is where it’s really happening! It’s been a privilege to be able to help, meet the clients and share in a part of their lives whilst they are going through so many complex issues. I am always touched and humbled by their spirit and resilience with all they have going on. The dedication and passion of the staff is also very inspiring.

Thank you YRP for all you have taught me and the fun we have had. I will be moving on soon but intend to stay a passionate advocate of all you do and to encourage others to support your amazing work!

 

Sandy

I am a retired Special Education Teacher. Since retiring I have participated in a range of Church and Charitable activities.

Eight years ago I attended a talk given by one of the York Road Project’s trustees. His passion for the project inspired me to enlist as a volunteer. Over the years I have been involved in supporting advice sessions, workshops and in the early days the York Road café. The Workshops offer clients the opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities: from cooking to First Aid courses. Clients (and volunteers!) enjoy giving back to the community and have been involved in schemes to improve local wildlife areas as well as gardening, painting for others who need assistance.

Serving as a volunteer at York Road has proved an enriching experience. I have learnt that it is possible for anyone from any walk of life to become Homeless. Sometimes short term support is all that is required to make positive changes. At other times it may be a slower progress. One crucial lesson I have learnt is the value of a non-judgemental listening ear!

 

Yvonne

My name is Yvonne, I have lived and worked in Woking for over 30 years.

Each week I join the team at the PROP for my volunteer sessions. I enjoy meeting the clients and each week I learn more about life and the resilience of humans. It is also a humbling experience, reminding me of all we have in common just that some of us have better fortune.

Workshops run each day are led by the staff which I help facilitate. They cover a variety of topics such as; cooking, budgeting, risk taking behaviours, decision making, sport, health and many more. All help build useful life skills for the clients to help get them back on their feet.

The PROP is a very welcoming, all inclusive space and a credit to the community.

Pat

Until the Spring of 2017 I worked full time, mostly trav

elling around the UK or commuting to London. My last role was as a head of Learning & Development for a national charity.

In May, I gave up paid employment to start my own small coaching business. It’s the first time I’ve worked in Woking since 1985, so – at last- I could get involved in the local community on a regular basis.

The issue of homelessness has always been close to my heart; it could happen to anyone and is one of the worst things I could imagine happening to me – or to anyone else!

I was aware of the York Road Project, so got in touch via the website to see if I could be of help. After meeting with Fay, we decided that I would come into The PROP for a d ay as a general assistant volunteer.

I don’t mind what I do; I am not precious about how I spend my time I donate – I feel that it wouldn’t be genuinely helpful to be too choosy! So, I keep things clean and tidy; help clients with anything from finding a coat that fits them to coaching them as they write a CV; and do od jobs for the staff. I’ve weeded flower beds, stained fences and stacked canned goods. The dishwasher and I are good friends!

I’ve also played games, joined debates and participated in arts and crafts projects. Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t be having as much fun as I do!

I love to interact with the clients: the cheeky, outgoing ones and the shy, thoughtful ones alike. No word of a lie – I’ve had more interesting, thought provoking and educational conversations with them than I had at many corporate meetings over the years. Real people, real issues, valid opinions!

I like to think I’m making a difference to people: clients and staff alike. They are certainly making a difference to me.

 

Des

My name is Des Tidbury I recently retired from the fire and rescue service and relocated with my family to the Woking area. In addition to volunteering with the York Road Project I do consultancy work to support companies developing projects in the fire industry.

I’ve been volunteering with the York road project for around 5 months now and have really enjoyed my time at the PROP (Day centre). Initially, my motivation was driven by previous experience working with Wiltshire fire and rescue service. In addition, as I am new to the area I thought it would be a great way to learn more about my local surroundings. I haven’t been disappointed from either perspective.

My experience to date with the charity has been enormously positive. Every day is different, inevitably there is a routine that needs to be followed; making sure the breakfast stuff is cleared away, general cleaning and tidying, booking in donations etc. The most enjoyable part is engaging with our clients. They are all very different in their needs, come from different backgrounds and various countries! A fact that does seem to surprise many people!

Engaging with the homeless community can at times be quite demanding, also surprising, but most of all rewarding. I’ve been able to help several clients with various aspects of their lives from assisting filling out tax returns (Yes, some of our clients are employed!), to assisting finding independent accommodation. I would also like to add that I’ve learnt a great deal from both staff and clients about the town of Woking, something I could never have achieved on my own in such a short space of time.

The next time you pass a rough sleeper in the street give some thought as to how they got into that position. But if you really want to understand their situation do some volunteering with a homeless charity. I promise you it will open your eyes!

 

Wendy

Hi I am Wendy. Do you know anyone who is homeless? No? Nor did I until I started to volunteer at the York Road Project here in Woking earlier this year. Before starting I met with the Day Centre co-ordinator for an informal interview to see if I was right for them and equally if they were right for me! I have met so many interesting, friendly, resourceful people who use the many services offered by YRP. Some are scared, unsure and new to this way of life and others have adapted more to their homeless life and seem to have learnt how to survive in their situation. For surviving is what it is. I feel little is known about this charity that deserves to be embraced by so many more in our local community. Despite its prominent position at the bottom of York Road most will just walk past and who knows that the Prop is on Goldsworth Road? The wonderful, dedicated staff work hard to help some the most vulnerable people around us often unseen. It offers a lifeline to so many and a platform on which to get back on their feet. It should be supported by Woking people to continue its work. Nobody plans to be homeless and who knows who is next to find themselves in need. I want people to know that the homeless aren’t scary, unapproachable people who are drug addicts, alcoholics or scroungers. They are normal people. Humans like you and I who are down on their luck and deserve not to be ignored.

I am a nurse at the local hospital and have cared for people of all shapes, sizes, religions and ethnicities. Everyone deserves respect. My shifts make it impossible to offer a set day to visit but I try to visit the Prop one day a week and am happy to help with whatever is needed. I’ve made sandwiches for picnics for outings, cleared endless cups and glasses into the dishwasher, been fishing (and actually caught a fish!), tried my hand creating a mosaic, practised for a flash mob (even with my appalling co-ordination), helped clients to find new clothes, shoes and sleeping bags from our donations upstairs. There is laundry to be done and friendships to be offered. Maybe you could get involved by giving your time, giving donations or raising money.