Volunteer at Z House

Z House, our new emergency youth shelter, isn’t just bricks and mortar. The plans for these were finalised last year and building work has been completed. We’re now completing arrangements for  the pilot phase of the shelter to open its doors and do what it’s meant to do… change the lives of young people in Bristol who find themselves pushed into a housing crisis.

Why we need you

This isn’t the only kind of building that we’ve been doing. We’ve been laying the foundations to build a team of Z House volunteers. Every one of them will be a critical part of this comprehensive resource that will move young people out of crisis, onto a firmer footing, and on course to the better life they deserve.

It’s been a joy to meet prospective volunteers to talk about what to expect should they take up the role, and the huge impact that can be made. We’re continuing to hold information sessions in our St Paul’s offices, and some online for those who can’t make it in. The next sessions have been loaded onto our volunteer portal.

Caring in Bristol’s new volunteer portal, Assemble, is now live: Log in here

Next IN-PERSON volunteer information Session:

Monday July 22nd | 6pm | email us to book a place and to receive details of the venue (Central / St Paul’s location)

Next ONLINE volunteer information Session:

Tuesday 16th July at 6pm via Zoom.

Meeting ID: 868 4352 6173 Passcode: ZHouse Direct link: Join here

Please email us if you’re planning to attend either session to help our planning. Both sessions take no longer than an hour. We’ll look forward to seeing you!

Why volunteers are key to our success

Josh, who is the Z House Coordinator, explains why volunteers will be so critical to the service, which will fill a current void in provision for specialist emergency resource for young people:

“We have an opportunity to be there at a time of extreme crisis for young people. Our volunteers will help to create the safety and stability that young people need when this happens to them. When things seem stacked against you it can be easy to lose hope. The Z House volunteers will be there for young people, to listen and provide gentle assistance that helps them weather the storm of homelessness.”

Josh is keen to point out that our volunteers will benefit from a training programme so they are confidently equipped for their role, along with support meetings with a staff member, and group reflective practice sessions. The first phase of the opening will have volunteer training and support as a major element. In this way, the Z House volunteers will be well-supported, as well as having the opportunity to develop their specialist knowledge of youth homelessness, and the skills associated with their role. Staff will never be far away, whether onsite or on call.

Shaping the future of emergency youth shelters

“Now is the time,” says Josh, “to think about this role. This opportunity means that volunteers can support the shelter as soon as it opens. Their work will contribute to the shaping of a brand new service in Bristol, changing the landscape of provision for young people.” A huge amount of preparation has already been undertaken, and we’ve been excited to have the support of the members of our Youth Board. This is currently expanding to ensure that their experience-based expertise continues to be built in. They have already helped to shape plans for a psychologically and trauma informed environment. And we’re excited to be building a team of volunteers that will match this through their caring and reassuring presence in that environment.

If you’d like to be part of this project in its pilot phase, helping us to find innovative ways of working, please consider volunteering, or get in touch if you have questions at nightshelter@caringinbristol.org.uk

Ready to apply?

Are you ready to start your journey in supporting young people experiencing homelessness into a better future? Download the volunteer brief and register on our volunteer portal.

Z House – Overnight Volunteer Brief (click to download PDF)

Caring in Bristol’s new volunteer portal, Assemble, is now live: Log in here


We look forward to meeting you!

We need your help to create a brand new shelter for young Bristolians

This page was updated in July 2024.

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