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Volunteer Host Service

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What is the Volunteer Host Service?

The Volunteer Host Service provides emergency accommodation on a temporary basis for 16-21 year olds who are at risk of being homeless. The service relies on volunteers to offer a spare room to young people in need for one to three nights.

Host Volunteers provide a safe and secure environment for young people to stay when they’ve had to leave their family home for a number of different reasons. We’re looking for volunteers to welcome a young person to stay in their home for a couple of nights, which enables us to assess the young person’s family situation, resolve conflict and find appropriate longer term accommodation if necessary.

We’re working with the Homelessness Prevention Service to protect vulnerable young people and support families to stay together.


Who can be a Volunteer Host?

If you have a spare room, aged 25 and over and think you could help make a difference to a young person in Surrey, you could be a Volunteer Host. We welcome anyone from a variety of backgrounds, experiences and circumstances, so whether you are single, married, in a civil partnership, Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) or identify as being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT), you could help us provide temporary accommodation to young people in need.

Volunteer Hosts must:

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

If you think you can offer a welcoming environment and support a young person at a difficult time of need – we’d love to hear from you.

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Training and support

We will support you every step of the way to make sure you’re confident with your role supporting Surrey’s young people. You will receive training and support including:

  • An induction package which includes 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 staying with you.

You will also get paid £15 for each night a young person is staying with you to cover expenses.

New Volunteer Hosts need to complete a DBS check that will be funded by Surrey Youth Support Service.
Please note: 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 to do next

If you think you could help support young people in Surrey or would like more information please contact Debbie Searle on 07891 533051 or email yssvolunteer.hosts@surreycc.gov.uk.

  • Updated: 15 Jan 2017
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