Be a volunteer

At SPEAR, we know the value volunteers can bring. Volunteers form a vital part of many of our services; from covering the reception desks at our Hostel, to working with our Outreach team to locate rough sleepers, to sharing skills by providing mentoring support to clients, and raising funds.

In 2019–20 our volunteers contributed 3,726 hours at SPEAR, helping to make our charity stronger and more sustainable. We clearly couldn’t do all that we do without you. THANK YOU!

Covid-19 Update

Now that the Government has signalled a pathway forward out of the current lockdown, and as the pace of vaccinations in the UK continues, we feel that we can begin to recommence volunteering recruitment in certain areas. Some of our work is carried out in a face-to-face situation and clearly this will remain restricted (unless otherwise stated). Other roles are continuing as they do not involve working directly with clients.

We will continue to update this volunteering page as we move forward into the Spring and Summer.

If you are a small business or corporation looking to volunteer in a professional capacity at SPEAR, we welcome offers of assistance with professional skills. Please email

(Please note the photos used here were before Covid-19 and social distancing measures were in place.)

Handymen and Women Volunteers

Do you know your flat head screwdrivers from your Philips head screwdrivers? If you do, you could be just the person we are looking for. We always have a need for handypersons who could donate some time once a month to small DIY tasks such as fixing leaky taps, painting a wall, putting up some shelves and the like in and around our hostels and HMO properties. And if you don’t feel confident doing such odd jobs yourself, do you know somebody who might? We would love to hear from you/them:

Digital Maintenance Volunteers and Digital Coaching Volunteers

SPEAR believes digital inclusion is vital for our clients. So much of our daily lives is now conducted online and having the skills to navigate all aspects of technology is becoming more and more important.

We are delighted to report that our recent drive to recruit digital coaching volunteers and digital maintenance volunteers was very successful. We now have a full complement of volunteers already engaged in these roles. We will continue to post here if we require further additions to the volunteer digital team.

Pop-up Clothing Project

The Pop-Up Clothing Project is an initiative to provide good quality, gently-used clothes to our clients in need of items. It is run by four volunteers who have experience in the clothing industry. These volunteers receive, sort and store donated clothes and then transport the clothes to the Pop-Up location on a bi-weekly basis. This project is especially important to SPEAR.

We can only accept items from the list below due to storage issues:

  • Mens NEW underwear and socks
  • Mens Tracksuit bottoms
  • Mens Hoodies
  • Mens T-shirts
  • Mens Trainers
  • Coats 

Recently, we reported that the Pop-Up Clothing Project would shortly be resuming activities in two new venues. However, the clothing pop up will continue to operate under very reduced circumstances for the time being. We will update on this in April 2021.

Volunteer Telephone Befriender Initiative

This project was started at the beginning of the first lockdown in 2020 using a small group of existing volunteers who were selected and matched with SPEAR clients for a weekly telephone chat. This volunteering activity can be carried out safely and remotely for all concerned. Some of our current volunteers have also been engaged in befriending activities such as meeting clients outdoors for a walk in the park or just to sit and chat for a while, bringing much needed contact for someone who may be feeling very isolated.

We are currently recruiting befrienders on a small scale for some specific clients who have requested a befriender. Please contact if you would like more information. Please note that you would need to have an enhanced DBS background check to become a volunteer befriender.

Volunteer Driver Initiative

We continue to operate a Volunteer Driver Programme whereby drivers collect the large amount of food donations we receive from our partner supermarkets and deliver the food to various locations on a needs basis. Volunteer Drivers also undertake other drop-offs and pick-ups as required by SPEAR staff.

We are now looking to recruit extra drivers who are available to run various errands for SPEAR in the South West London area. Clearly, you should have access to a car for this role. If you have a van, that would be even more helpful as we are often asked to transport individual pieces of furniture. Please contact the volunteering department

Volunteer Gardening Project

In March 2020, the Volunteering Department established a pool of Volunteer Gardeners who are called upon on an ad-hoc basis to visit various different hostels and HMOs to offer a garden tidy up. Our volunteers have completed several tidy ups for hostels and clients alike. This volunteering activity has been successful as it is largely carried out in the great outdoors!

As we move into the Spring and the weather gets warmer, we would like to pick up our gardening activities. If you are interested in joining the pool of gardening volunteers please email the volunteering department at Please note that for this role it is useful to have a car as you will need to move around the South West London area. We may need to ask you to help out with bringing some gardening equipment too.

Volunteer Mentoring Project

A pool of Volunteer Mentors has been set up in response to a request from our Community Development and Innovations team at SPEAR. Volunteers provide guidance with writing CVs, preparing for interviews and advice on how to prepare for a successful interview. Most of the mentoring takes place virtually or by telephone. We propose to increase recruitment at a later date.

We continue to review volunteering and adapt our approach around Covid-19 in line with Government guidelines.

Watch an interview about how one of our volunteers Caroline has been helping out during the pandemic HERE 

To receive updates about volunteering in general at SPEAR join our Volunteer Mailing List by signing up below. You can take a look at current and past newsletters here.

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    In the meantime, you can read what volunteers feel about volunteering at SPEAR in our latest Volunteer Satisfaction Report.

    SPEAR collects and processes personal data relating to its volunteers in order to manage the volunteering relationship. SPEAR is committed to being transparent about how it collects and uses that data and to meeting its data protection obligations. Please refer to our Privacy Policy for an explanation of the personal data which SPEAR collects and of why and how we store and use this.