A modern day hero – the CRISIS Night Owl volunteer.

The word ‘hero’ in our minds, all too often makes us think of those brave characters of the past. We all too often think of heroes as those who put themselves before others to the point of absolute selflessness. The truth is we don’t have to delve deeply into our history books to find our heroes for they exist here today. There are many we could name but the ones I want to give a mention to, are the volunteers of the charities who work with the homeless, in particular, the Night Owls at CRISIS. CRISIS is not the only charity that works with the homeless, others include  Centrepoint,  Emmaus UK, Shelter and many more are all about helping homeless people whether by providing accommodation, a meal, some medical help or by being a friendly face and someone to talk to.

These organizations do such a worthwhile job helping people who have been dealt a rough hand in life and who need help. With Christmas fast approaching the life of the homeless person will get even harder. As we all throw ourselves into Christmas shopping and ensuring we have everything we need for the perfect Christmas, the people who live on the street are dealing with the freezing winter temperatures. With no home and possessions at the barest minimum, they have to rely on finding a shop doorway or under a bridge exposed to the elements to spend the night whilst also coping with the dangers of the night.

With over a million homeless people living in Great Britain, there are a lot of people who need our help. CRISIS, the charity that works with homeless people in London, are currently appealing for six thousand volunteers to help with their work in the boroughs of Camden, Lewisham, Southwark, Fulham and Hammersmith. In addition, CRISIS has Spotlight Centres throughout the UK in Birmingham, Edinburgh, Merseyside, Newcastle and Oxford.  In particular, CRISIS relies on people to become Night Owl volunteers.

The role of the Night Owl is to help out at one of the CRISIS centres where people without a permanent roof over their heads are able to climb into a warm bed in a safe environment. The duties of a Night Owl are wide ranging for there is no end to the variety on offer. The Night Owl basically mucks in with whatever needs doing in the centre and will be reliable too. As a Night Owl you will not need experience in working with the homeless as there is plenty to learn as you go along. This is a rewarding role in the charitable organisation and one that asks only that you can give of your free time – something that all too many of us feel we don’t have enough of! The Night Owl will not only give their energy and kindness to the role but will make time for the couple of shifts a week that is needed.

If you would like to volunteer as a Night Owl for CRISIS at a city near you, get in touch with the charity via its website www.crisis.org.uk.

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