Volunteer Host Service

The Volunteer Host Service provides emergency accommodation on a short term basis for 16 to 21 year olds when they've temporarily had to leave their family home. The service relies on volunteers to offer a spare room and safe and secure environment for these young people to stay, while efforts are made to try and resolve their accommodation difficulties.

Who can be a Volunteer Host?

If you have a spare room, are aged 25 and over and think you could help make a difference to a young person in Surrey, you could be a Volunteer Host. Anyone of any background, circumstances and experience is welcome to apply to be a volunteer host but they must;

  • Have a spare bedroom to offer a young person
  • Give access to communal facilities such as a kitchen and bathroom
  • Commit to having a young person to stay for one to three nights at least every three months.

If you have a criminal record this does not mean that you cannot get involved but there would be a further assessment process to ensure that your application can be continued.

What training and support is offered?

Every step is taken to ensure Volunteer Hosts feel confident to support the young people staying with them. The training and support offered includes;

  • An induction package including training in safeguarding children and engaging with and managing situations with young people
  • Ongoing training regarding issues relevant to young people
  • Regular supervision
  • Access to a 24 hour telephone support service when a young person is with them.

Volunteer Hosts receive £15 for each night a young person stays to cover expenses.

A DBS check is needed to be a Volunteer Host which is funded by Surrey Family Service.

Surrey Host Plus Service

Host Plus is similar to the Volunteer Host Service but is for those looking to provide longer term accommodation to young people aged 16 to 19 years old, when they are unable to return to their family home. Most young people are likely to have been into the Volunteer Host Service first.

In addition to what is expected of a volunteer host, Host Plus could be right for you if you are:

  • Able to help young people with practical skills such as cooking, applying for jobs and filling in forms.
  • Available to offer emotional support as the young person moves towards independence.
  • Able to offer time to mentor and support the young person.
  • Willing to share your kitchen, living room and bathroom with the young person.

What training and support is offered?

It takes around two months to be assessed as a Host, ongoing training and support is offered by Surrey Family Service, to enable them to assist the young person to develop the confidence and skills needed to live independently.

A placement and Tenancy Agreement is put in place from the day of a young person moving in where house rules and boundaries are set.

What financial support do Hosts receive?

  • Support Payments - Hosts receive a weekly support allowance of between £80 and £120 per week, whilst a young person is living with them. Payments will be dependent on the young person's level of need.
  • Rent - The rent for the room and the shared facilities is determined by the Local Authorities Single Room Rate for the location. The rate is about £85 per week. If the young person is working then they will be expected to make a contribution to their rent.
  • Food – young people will be expected to purchase their own food to enable them to learn how to shop and cook on a budget with support from their host. If the young person is sharing the household food, they are expected to make a contribution of £20 per week.

Who to contact for further information?

If you would to find out more or apply to be a Volunteer Host, please email volunteer.hosts@surreycc.gov.uk.

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