Full-time Voluntary Workers
Cambridge Cyrenians recruit up to six full-time Voluntary Workers at any one time to live and work with the residents of our two short-stay and one long-stay houses.The Workers are responsible for the day-to-day running of the houses, but are supported by experienced staff, both during and outside office hours. Voluntary Workers are given their own room, meals, expenses, time off, holidays and appropriate training and support. The position can provide valuable work experience and suitable entry requirements for degree level courses.
Cambridge Cyrenians has twenty separate houses providing supported accommodation, three of these accommodate eight residents and two live-in Voluntary Workers apiece. The short-stay houses do not accept people just for an overnight stay. Most stay something between a few weeks to one year. In the long-stay house residents can stay for several years. The Workers and staff support the individual residents to maintain their current accommodation, but also in preparing to move on to longer-term, more secure, housing.
We accept both men and women into our houses; however most of our residents are male. Residents tend to be in the age range 20 to 45, though we accept those much younger and older.
Life as a volunteer
The Workers are the people who are immediately on hand for the residents. It is to the Workers that residents initially look to help and advice, sometimes to deal with some very personal issues. But there are also many practical things that Workers are called upon to do, such as; organising cleaning, ensuring there is food in the house, dealing with callers, requests for information, preparing rooms, or even sorting fused lights. Workers need to do a lot of thinking for themselves and act on their own judgement. There is support on hand, but it will be up to the Workers to contact staff if they feel that they need help. Workers can also draw on the experience and support of their 5 co-Workers who are an important source of information and advice.
For most new Workers this type of work can be very different from anything they have experienced before. New Workers need to be prepared to adapt to a lot of changes. At times the houses are very settled, with the same group of residents living together for a sustained period of time. Things can be very quiet. At other times there may be a high turnover of residents and the houses can be a lot more lively.
Comments for previous Workers
“I enjoyed meeting lots of people from various backgrounds, whether they are workers or residents. If support was needed, it was given readily. The level of responsibility was high and that is important when you are working in this situation. This has helped me grow as a person and to help people to help themselves and not to do everything for them. My greatest achievement was knowing that I can overcome difficult situations and having the confidence to face them. It can be mentally draining and stressful but the end result is very rewarding.”
“I think I am becoming more streetwise and am learning about a completely different way of life- a way of life which I knew existed but had never really had much experience of.”