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Current volunteering opportunities 

Aspire Oxfordshire

Companionship Volunteers are needed for 2 hours, once a week.

A caring, non-judgmental attitude with good listening skills is what they are looking for. Any experience or understanding of homelessness, mental health, or substance misuse issues would be beneficial but not essential. A compassionate and friendly demeanour and the willingness to actively engage with individuals in social settings would be highly valued.

Download the full Companionship Volunteers role description. Complete Aspire's online application form or email Joe Barana at joe@aspireoxford.co.uk if you would like to arrange an informal chat about this role.

Asylum Welcome

Asylum Welcome has 200+ amazing volunteers who support their expanding range of services: running a welcome desk, teaching English, interpreting, mentoring, delivering food, providing advice and more.

If you are interested in joining this incredible team, you can find out more at an information evening for new and potential volunteers. A range of openings are available.

They usually require volunteers to commit to at least one day a week during office hours, but some roles do require less time. Teams you can join include the welcome centre, adult & family advice, youth service, food bank, bike project, laptop project, legal advice, education & employment, visitors for Huntercombe, advocacy, comms and fundraising.

Please get in touch with Asylum Welcome volunteering to find out more; they have many services so are open to exploring where a potential volunteer can help.

Citizens Advice Oxford

There are plenty of opportunities for volunteers interested in helping with a variety of tasks, including IT, HR, admin, communications, and research/campaigns. The time commitment for these can be more flexible, and your training will be tailored to the role you want to undertake.

They also have openings for advisors and advice assistants. For the advice assistant role you spend 4 weeks in initial training, once a week. After some experience in the role, if you wish, there is a further 6 weeks training to reach adviser level. Some volunteers go on to specialise, to enable them to deal with more complex cases.  

Volunteers contribute 10 hours per week on average, with a commitment for 1 year. The work can be challenging and satisfying and is all about helping people locally to resolve their problems. Please visit https://citizensadviceoxford.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer to find out more, or email recruitment@citizensadviceoxford.org.uk

For links to offices in other parts of Oxfordshire see our list.

Connection Support

There are both in-person and remote voluntary positions available at various locations across Oxfordshire. They offer volunteering across a variety of roles such as Rough Sleeper Outreach, befrienders, housing support, English practice, and refugee welcome. Shifts vary and can be adapted to volunteers’ availability. There can also be flexibility with regard to the length and level of voluntary commitment. Please note that the skill set needed varies for the different roles. To find out more about the roles available please visit the Connection Support website or contact the Volunteer Team at volunteers@connectionsupport.org.uk.

Connection Support - Beacon Banbury

An in-person position to provide food and drinks to visitors under the supervision of the Drop-in Coordinator.

You will be maintaining the welcoming nature and continued take up of this valuable community service; setting up the kitchen, including getting the equipment ready; following food hygiene and health & safety guidelines and preparing food and drinks following guidelines from the Drop-in Coordinator; Clearing away at the end of each session; Interacting with visitors as needed, ensuring attendance is monitored and any concerns are passed to the Drop-in Coordinator.

Please visit Connection Support to find out more.

Crisis Skylight Oxford

There are a variety of voluntary positions available at Crisis Skylight Oxford, including fundraising, events and working directly with members. To find out more about the roles currently available please visit the Crisis Skylight website or contact the Volunteer Team at volunteering.oxford@crisis.org.uk.

Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership (OMHP)

There are a variety of voluntary positions available with OMHP and if the partner you contact doesn't have a role at the moment, they can signpost you to another partner who does. To find out more about the roles available please take a look at the OMHP volunteering leaflet.

OWNS

Sign-ups for 2024-25 are already beginning for volunteers and Shift Leaders to help with the winter night shelter project which runs from 1st January until 31st March every year. The nights are split into three shifts. For more information see the online sign up, or contact via email at night.shelter.management@ownsoxford.org.uk

OWNS - The Living Room

An in-person position located on St Clements Street, Oxford. The timings of volunteering shifts are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (09:30 - 12.00 and 13:30 -16:00). They would ideally look for volunteers who can commit to regular shifts (weekly/fortnightly) for at least three months. There is no specific skill set required. Please note that they operate an intimate "Living Room" style day centre so being comfortable in this type of setting and being able to initiate conversation is very important. Find out more on the OWNS website

Oxford Hub

There are both in-person and remote voluntary positions available, mostly in Oxford city. Help build a better Oxford through community-building programmes. Tutor local children to help them with schoolwork with ‘Schools Plus’, support people learning English as an additional language with ‘FELLOW’, mentor a young person long term with ‘Big Brothers Big Sisters’, and more.

Most of their volunteering opportunities are flexible in terms of timing, length and level of commitment, depending on what works for you. To find out more about the roles available please visit the Oxford Hub website or contact them at hello@oxfordhub.org

Oxford Mutual Aid

There are both in-person and remote voluntary positions available. Their Hall is located on Cowley Road, Oxford. OMA is a volunteer-based community action network. The time of shifts varies depending on your role. There are several roles from Volunteer Deliveries (regular and ad-hoc deliveries in the car) to Support/Phone Volunteer to Hall Volunteer (packing food parcels restocking). They welcome all types of skill sets and experience. They have a volunteer debriefing system where you can talk through worries or concerns at any time. If you would like to get involved, please fill out the Oxford Mutual Aid volunteer form

Oxfordshire Mind

In-person and remote roles include volunteers for Peer Support Groups, Administration, Information Service, Safe Haven, Peer Researchers (based in Wokingham). They also have opportunities for Parkrun and Events and Fundraising volunteers.

Some roles are flexible, others a weekly 2-3 hour commitment. Find the role to suit you. If you can be caring and friendly and live in Oxfordshire or West Berkshire they want to hear from you. Lived experience with mental health is not essential, but is welcomed. If you have a specific skill you think would help their service—or you don’t see a volunteer position that fits you—get in touch with their volunteering team at volunteering@oxfordshiremind.org.uk or call 01865 247788.

Join their friendly team and help more people to receive the mental health support they deserve. Get in touch at volunteering@oxfordshiremind.org.uk.

Refugees at Home

Refugees at Home are looking for people who have a spare room in their home and are willing to host a refugee or a person seeking asylum.

Hosts will need to have good transport links to allow guests to retain their independence. Hosts decide how long they are willing to host; placements vary from a few nights to several months and anything in between.

A home visit and 2 references are required to become an approved host. Guests are also assessed and provide a reference. They match your preferences with what guests need, and you will have a Placement Coordinator who supports you through every step of the process.

To apply, please first read their Information for Hosts page and FAQs. If you're happy to proceed, then fill out the application form online, or contact info@refugeesathome.org if you have any questions.

Restore

Recovery group volunteers directly support members and vulnerable people in recovery groups in Oxfordshire. The Opportunities Project volunteers visit the Warneford and Littlemore wards to signpost mental health services to inpatients. Reception, maintenance, fundraising, café, admin, and gardening volunteers help Restore's core operations.

To apply, see the website, or contact volunteer@restore.org.uk.

Sanctuary Hosting

An in-person position, supporting refugees and asylum-seekers who are being hosted by them, and working at various locations around Oxford. They are looking for a time commitment of 1-2 hours per week, although hours will vary depending upon the situation of the person you are supporting. Commitment would be for one-year minimum. You will be supported by Sanctuary Hosting staff and regular training is provided. Your role might be supporting a guest by helping them get to know Oxford and access local services, or supporting a host by checking in regularly to review how their hosting is going and working with others to solve any issues which arise. To find out more, please email Tania on info@sanctuaryhosting.org

St Mungo's

St Mungo’s Oxford seek a First Response Volunteer to help find those who are rough sleeping more quickly. Thursdays, 6-10am, once per month. 

First Responders enable Outreach workers to spend more time supporting those found to move away from the streets. As such they play a crucial role in ensuring people sleeping rough receive vital support. It is not a client-facing role, and is suited to a first role in the homeless sector, with development opportunities for your skills and knowledge if you are interested.

You and your partner volunteer will be driving between referrals. You must be over 25 and be able to commit for at least 6 months. DBS is required. If you don’t drive, you can support with navigation and updating if referrals are found or not found.

Visit the St Mungo's website to view the role description, read FAQs and apply online directly.

The Gatehouse - Café

An in-person position located on the Woodstock Road. Shifts are available Monday-Friday 4.30-7.15pm & Sundays 3.30-6.15pm. Voluntary commitment is on an as-and-when basis—whatever suits you. No specific skill set needed. They operate as an indoor cafe provided they have enough volunteers to do so—9 or more. When volunteer numbers are low, they operate as a takeaway cafe only. 

They will provide all necessary PPE—gloves, masks (optional) and aprons. Complete the starter form on the website or contact the Operations Manager, Zoe on zoe@oxfordgatehouse.org

They also rely on around 35 food group volunteers to fully meet guests’ needs. On average, they use around 1200 loaves of sandwiches each year as well as over 1000 cakes. They also provide just under 6500 jacket potatoes each year and 450 pizzas, so any donations of potatoes, toppings, and pizzas are always found a good home. Requires food safety compliance, use of allergen labels—provided. See the website or contact admin@oxfordgatehouse.org

The Porch

In-person positions of at least 3 months at a time, at Magdalen Road, Oxford. You can take up a varied role with tasks such as food prep, food serve, helping with laundry service, clothing store liaising with donators, dry food store, library, and more. You can help with facilitating the various sessions; for example 8am-11.30am Breakfast Session, 11.30am-2pm Lunch Session, or the 2-4pm Closed Session where they get the centre, kitchen and cafe clean for the following day.

You can also enable Allotment & Garden Sessions, trips out, fundraising & events, and helping to make the preserves, jams and chutneys from the garden produce with proceeds going to their charity. Teamwork is essential, and if you have a specific skill set, do offer it to your team leader as they are always interested to hear. To enquire, email guy@theporch.org.uk

Last updated April 2024