The set up

Accommodation

All the houses are within walking distance of the city centre.

Volunteers are allocated their own single room within the house. The facilities are basic, but everything is in the house that you need.

Hours of work

There are core hours during which the volunteers are required to be present and available in the house, or on other duties. These are 9-10.30am and 4-7pm, on the days they are on duty. There are also meetings during the week that volunteers are expected to attend and various other duties that make up part of their daily routine. Volunteers do not need to inform staff or residents of their whereabouts when they are off the project, but they have a responsibility to let them know when they shall return, using the system that is in place.

Time off, days off and holiday

Each volunteer has 48 hrs off each week and there is a volunteer's house that they can use to get away. They can take friends there, but not residents, ex-residents or would-be residents. Days off can start at any time during the day, but volunteers are expected to have agreed these days off in advance with staff and their co-volunteer. They must also insure that they leave sufficient time to complete a hand over to their co-volunteer, before starting their break. Volunteers are expected to return from days off no more than 48 hours after their start. On arrival of a new volunteer, the co-volunteer is expected not to take any days off for that new volunteer's first week. This would normally only be expected to happen once during a volunteer's stay. Volunteers may take a week off every 10 weeks. For this they receive additional pocket money and some travel expenses.

Staff support

Staff visit each house most days and are available at the office should volunteers need any advice or guidance.

As well as providing support during normal working hours, staff are on call, in rotation, at all other times. The Finance Officer, helps the volunteers with the individual house accounts. Additionally to this there is a Mental Health Outreach Team and Older Homeless Project Worker who work independently of the accommodation service, but can provide on-going support for residents.

Volunteers can receive one-to-one supervision or group supervision if required.

Allowances

Volunteers are paid £45.00 pocket money each week. Food is provided and bills are included except for private phone calls, for which they can buy phone cards from the office. Travel expenses are paid to and from the project of up to £60.00 when arriving and leaving the project and when taking holidays. An additional allowance is paid at the end of your stay of £10.00 for every month on the project.

Insurance

Cambridge Cyrenians Employers Liability cover extends to include the volunteer, but it does not cover personal belongings. Anyone thinking about bringing items of value, such as a laptop computer, ipod, camera, bicycle etc. should consider taking our personal insurance, or leaving items of value at home.

Meals

Within the long-stay house there is one communal meal cooked each day (normally an evening meal), and the residents and volunteers take it in turns to cook. Volunteers are expected to eat with the residents. Meals in the two short-stay houses are less structured, with residents often cooking for themselves except on Sundays where residents take it in turn to cook a communal meal.

Vegetarians can be catered for, as can any dietary requirements.

Smoking

The smoking regulations no longer allow residents to smoke in the communal areas of their houses, but volunteers should be aware that they will still be required to enter bedrooms on occasions, where residents can smoke.

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