FHfF Cold weather co-ordinator job pack October 2018

Fair Housing for Frome (FHfF) ‘Zero Nights’ scheme

Cold weather co-ordinator job pack, October 2018


Across the UK there is a tradition of opening cold weather shelters for homeless people when the temperature is predicted by the Met Office to drop below zero for three consecutive nights (we are calling these ‘zero nights’.) In recent years a shelter has been provided in Wells by Elim Connect Centre, but until now there hasn’t been a cold weather shelter in Frome.

On 22 September 2018, Fair Housing for Frome (FHfF) invited a range of local agencies to a meeting at Frome Town Hall to discuss plans for a cold weather shelter in the town. The plans were warmly received. The board of FHfF subsequently agreed to provide overall management and start-up funding, and to raise funds for a paid co-ordinator. The goals of the shelter are:

  1. To avoid preventable death and illness, reaching out with kindness and compassion
  2. To connect rough sleepers with agencies that can help them get access to housing and other services.
  3. To raise awareness of homelessness in Frome, helping local people to become better informed and motivated to help find solutions to the housing crisis.

The shelter will provide overnight accommodation for up to seven homeless people each night, plus supper and breakfast. Guests will be assessed in advance by professional outreach workers, and will not be allowed to bring alcohol or drugs into the shelter. In partnership with other local agencies, FHfF is also looking into the possibility of setting up a pop-up drop-in for homeless people in the town on zero nights.

Job Purpose

To take responsibility for the staffing and smooth running of the overnight shelter in a way that is safe and welcoming for everyone concerned. To lead on its set up and closure, working harmoniously with FHfF board and staff, with the venue and with other local agencies.

Terms and conditions

Hours of work: 35 hours set-up in November; 5 hours on each day that the shelter is open; 25 hours for closure, debriefing and review/evaluation in April

Remuneration: £12 per hour, plus a monthly retainer of £100 per month from December to March

Commencing: November (as soon as possible)

Responsible for: volunteer teams

Responsible to: Alison Murdoch, FHfF Development Worker

The job is being offered on a self-employed basis for a maximum of six months, although the actual days of work will depend on which days from December to March are identified as ‘zero nights.’ The co-ordinator is not expected to spend the night at the shelter when it is open, but to be present when it opens and closes and to ensure that it is staffed by two appropriately trained and supported volunteers.

Job description

  1. To set up logistics at the venue including: eating facilities, sleeping facilities; TV; storage.
  2. To ensure that all necessary policies and procedures are in place.
  3. To help with the recruitment of the volunteer teams; organise volunteer training; set up and activate rotas; and to provide supervision, support and debriefing, plus volunteer expenses
  4. To liaise and collaborate smoothly and harmoniously with the venue to set up the shelter each evening and to ensure that everything is cleaned and packed away each morning. To be the primary key holder and point of contact for the venue.
  5. To liaise with other agencies so that potential guests can be assessed and signposted to specialist services.
  6. To organise and oversee the closure of the shelter, including disposal of any bedding or equipment.
  7. To keep records and provide reports as needed.
  8. To assist on request with responding to media interest or supporting fundraising efforts.
  9. To lead on the organization of a de-briefing and thank-you event for volunteers and benefactors.
  10. To take an active role in review and evaluation.

Person specification

  • Currently resident in Frome.
  • Experience of recruiting, training and managing volunteers, with warmth and efficiency.
  • Experience of working with people suffering from homelessness, substance abuse and other issues with kindness and insight. Understanding of the difficulties and challenges they face.
  • Experience of putting policies and procedures in place and of meeting health and safety requirements in a well-organised manner.
  • Experience of shift and/or overnight work.
  • Willingness to collaborate harmoniously and effectively with a range of individuals and agencies
  • Ability to maintain records and to participate in the review and evaluation process

How to apply

Please send your CV plus a covering letter about why you think you are suitable for this role (referring back to the person specification) and the details of two referees to: Alison Murdoch, alison@fairhousingforfrome.org.uk. If you have any queries you’re welcome to ring on 07866 541954.

The deadline for applications is midnight on Sunday 28th October, and interviews will be held in Frome on Wednesday afternoon 31st October.

If you’re not in a position to make an application yourself, please help us spread the word to find the best possible candidate. Thank you!