Z House Volunteering

Z House, our new emergency youth shelter, isn’t just bricks and mortar. The plans for these were finalized some months ago, and our building team are now in and hard at work. Everyday, a little more progress, taking us towards the early spring when the shelter can 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’re doing. We’re already 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.

We’ve already started meeting 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. Look out for these…

Join an upcoming information session

Details are on our Better Impact volunteer portal. Sign up for a session to find out more, or click on our Z House page https://caringinbristol.co.uk/volunteer-at-z-house/

Sessions last about an hour, with a chance to meet team members and ask any questions you have. You can find details of the volunteer role and a link to the application form at the bottom of this page.

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. 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, join one of the above sessions. Or get in touch 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?

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

and then start your application on Better Impact, our volunteer portal (opens a new page).

Homeless & Need Help?