Full-time Voluntary Workers – the set-up
All the houses are within walking distance of the city centre.
Workers 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 Workers 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 Workers are expected to attend and various other duties that make up part of their daily routine. Workers 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 Worker has 48 hrs off each week and there is a Worker’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 Workers are expected to have agreed these days off in advance with staff and their co-Worker. They must also insure that they leave sufficient time to complete a hand over to their co-Worker, before starting their break. Workers are expected to return from days off no more than 48 hours after their start. On arrival of a new Worker, the co-Worker is expected not to take any days off for that new Worker’s first week. This would normally only be expected to happen once during a Worker’s stay. Workers may take a week off every 10 weeks. For this any additional costs are covered, including a contribution to travel expenses.
Staff visit each house most days and are available at the office should Workers 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 Workers with the individual house accounts. Additionally to this there is a Mental Health Outreach Worker and Older Homeless Project Worker who work independently of the accommodation service, but can provide on-going support for residents.
Workers receive one-to-one supervision or group supervision if required.
Workers are paid a subsistence rate to ensure people can afford to volunteer. Accommodation and food is provided, or an allowance paid to cover meals. All bills are included except for private phone calls. Travel expenses are paid to and from the project of up to £60.00 when arriving and leaving, plus for any travel incurred whilst volunteering. For further details, please contract the Volunteer Co-ordinator, but it is important to us that Workers are not out of pocket because they choose to volunteer with us.
Cambridge Cyrenians Employers Liability cover extends to include the Worker, 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.
Workers are encouraged to cook and eat with the residents in their house, particularly on a Sunday, when residents take it in turns to cook a communal meal.
Vegetarians can be catered for, as can any dietary requirements.
The smoking regulations no longer allow residents to smoke in the communal areas of their houses, but Workers should be aware that they will still be required to enter bedrooms on occasions, where residents can smoke.