DEPAUL IRELAND BELIEVES THAT HOMELESSNESS HAS NO PLACE.
The Homeless Families Project is two hostels (Mater Dei and Cloverhill) that provide temporary accommodation to homeless families (ie. Ranging from expectant mother through to mother, father and children) the project has 14 / 18 self contained family units. There are large communal areas for the residents.
The displacement of families is due to any number of factors such as inappropriate living arrangements, overcrowding, domestic violence and bereavement. In addition, many family relationships break down resulting in the need for temporary accommodation. Some of our resident parents are very young themselves and have had very little life experience. It is important that families are kept together and provided with high levels of support during any period of transition.
Families are appointed a key worker to ensure they receive the appropriate support. A support plan (life skills, budgeting, parenting skills and health support) is developed between the resident and worker. The project provides the time and space during which families can address the issues which led to their housing crisis. The project supports families to gain practical skills which enable them to adapt to life after they have left the project.
Mater Dei Hostel is situated in a residential area of North Belfast. It is close to a main road into the city centre. Buses are frequent and it is approximately a 30-45 minute walk to the main shopping area at the centre of the city.
Cloverhill is situated in a residential area of West Belfast. It is located on a main road in a residential area with buses into the city centre which take approximately 50 minutes.
Depaul Northern Ireland (http://www.depaulireland.org)
Belfast, United Kingdom
02/07/2015 – 02/06/2016
Our aim is to open new possibilities for the project and its residents through the inclusion of volunteers. While the project staff often need to focus on the basic service provision (Keyworking), the volunteers can concentrate solely on additional activities which will be of great benefit to the residents. Because residents have their own flats it can be difficult to get them to socialize and participate in activities within the Project. Depaul does not provide childcare and it can be difficult for parents to participate in activities without their children. The ages of children living in the Services can range from babies to young teenagers. Most children are 0-5 years. Volunteers will mostly be working with the parents and will never be asked to babysit or work with children alone. -Primarily the volunteer will spend their 30-35 hour working week at activities in the hostels related to the Homeless Families Project. Volunteers can also get involved in other areas of Depaul’s work; events, fundraising and Floating Support etc At the start of the placement the volunteers’ time will be structured around orientating to a new city, living arrangements as well as training and induction. Volunteer are advised not to expect too much from residents in relation to their activities at first. Getting to know our residents and building a good relationship with them is essential. Our residents can be suffering from trauma or have very little life experience. Volunteers need to be motivated and be inspiring to residents who can be apathetic, resistant to change or simply do not know what interests them. Activities can range from arts & crafts workshops for both children and adults, photography, organising outings, music & singing, health & beauty, storytelling and any group based activity that will be of interest to the resident families. Getting to know residents will take time and is key to build good relationships to instil the confidence in them to participate and socialize. Volunteers will have the opportunity to develop a project which is of particular interest to them, such as a cultural project or a basic skills group. We can support this, but will allow them to take the lead in it, to help improve organisational and development skills. Volunteers will receive a full induction and specific training during their EVS placement.
In order to fairly assess each candidate’s suitability for each project, we ask each candidate to complete the Depaul Ireland EVS application which asks for the following information: 1.A volunteers motivation for applying to do EVS 2.A volunteers motivation for applying to the project 3.The volunteers general understanding of the factors that lead people to become homeless with reference to the particular client group of the project 4.The challenges that the volunteer anticipates when working in our projects 5.The skills and abilities a volunteer feels they will bring to the project 6.Their general expectations of a placement in Northern Ireland Volunteers are also required to produce 2 work/study related references, a relevant police clearance from the country that they are travelling from and information relating to medical history (if relevant to your support needs only). Please note that a good level of spoken English is required as much of our work requires the ability to communicate and build relationships with our residents. The Northern Irish accent can be difficult to understand! Volunteers will be given language support as detailed by the Erasmus + programme guidelines. Volunteers should be: – Empathic and non-judgmental – Patient and self motivated – Ability to use initiative and be flexible and open to new situations – Interested in, and a basic understanding of the issues around homelessness – Willing to work with children (of all ages) and parents who are on the margins of society – A good level of written and spoken English – Anyone with an interest in running a workshop on a particular theme with residents, examples of these could be: music, art & crafts, basic cookery, women’s issues, children’s play activities, relaxation, budgeting, literacy.
Volunteers should read the Depaul Northern Ireland EVS volunteer information and then complete the Depaul Northern Ireland EVS application form available on our website at http://www.depaulireland.org/volunteering/evs/
Please also send your motivational letters and CVs. You will find additional info on our website which also has a document with supporting information.
The deadline for volunteer applications is Friday 2nd January at 5pm and short listing will be done the week after. We will then contact applicants by email to offer the placement and then organise a time to do a short interview via phone or skype. We will submit our grant application for the EU commission grant deadline on the 4th February 2015.
Please send us your application to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject “EVS Depaul Belfast”.
Please make sure you write on the motivation letter that Building Bridges will be your sending organisation.
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