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

In light of the Government’s decision on 4th January 2021 to reinstate a lockdown in England, we will, of necessity, continue to restrict certain volunteering activities at SPEAR. Some of our work is carried out in a face-to-face situation and clearly this will be restricted. Other roles will continue as they do not involve working directly with clients. We are disappointed that some of our new initiatives will not be able to move forward as quickly as we had hoped but we will always put the safety of our clients and volunteers first.

Please also be advised that, for the time being, a hold will continue to operate on volunteer recruitment. This will be reviewed in mid-February 2021, in line with Government advice.

If you are a small business or corporation looking to volunteer in a professional capacity at SPEAR, we still 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.)

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 as Winter approaches, when our clients will be in need of warm clothing. Please note that we do NOT require any further clothing donations at this point as we have enough supplies.

Recently, we reported that the Pop-Up Clothing Project would shortly be resuming activities in two new venues. Unfortunately, due to the latest restrictions imposed in England, the clothing pop up will continue to operate under very reduced circumstances. We will update on this in mid-February 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. Please be advised that we are at maximum volunteer capacity for this initiative.

Volunteer Driver Initiative

We have initiated a Volunteer Driver Programme whereby drivers collect the large amount of food donations we are receiving 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. Please note that we are no longer recruiting for this project.

Volunteer Gardening Project

Since 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! Please note that we currently have a full quota of volunteers for this project.

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. We received a huge response to this initiative and we are now at maximum capacity. We have also had to adapt the project to the new lockdown requirements. Most of the mentoring takes place virtually or by telephone. We hope to restart 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.