SCWNS – Deputy Shelter Co-Ordinator

SCWNS – Deputy Shelter Co-Ordinator

Job Title: Deputy Shelter Co-Ordinator
Line Management: Shelter Co-Ordinator
Hours: Flexible (see below)
Payment: £2,700 over the season (but see below)
Duration: 1st Oct. 2019 – at least 30th Sept. 2022 (subject to performance and funding)

The Southend Churches Winter Night Shelters (SCWNS) are open from November/December to March (for 16 or 17 weeks). 2019/20 will be the 9th season, and they will be open from 2nd December 2019 to 29th March 2020 (17 weeks).

The SCWNS comprise the 7 host churches (providing a hot meal, a bed and breakfast), and operate in partnership with Love Southend (oversight, charity number and treasurer), SBC (some funding), and HARP (referrals and “back-end” support to our guests).

Driven by our Christian faith and through loving care, the SCWNS aim to meet the spiritual as well as physical needs of our guests, but we do not proselytise. However, we will answer questions!

Our aim is to help support our vulnerable guests and give them a sense of belonging and self-worth.

The current Co-Ordinator has been in post since the SCWNS started in 2011/12 and now wishes to gradually hand over the role to a successor.

We therefore wish to recruit someone who would:
– In Year 1 (i.e. 2019/20 season): shadow the current Co-Ordinator;
– In Year 2 (i.e. 2020/21 season): become the Co-Ordinator (with the current Co-Ordinator available as their mentor); and
– In Year 3 and beyond (i.e. 2021/22 season onwards): be the Co-Ordinator.

The Co-Ordinator and Deputy are part-time roles that claim a monthly allowance (currently covered by a grant from Southend Borough Council [SBC]). Most of the work is done over the winter (Sept. to April).

The SCWNS is a Christian organisation and it is therefore a requirement that the Deputy Co-Ordinator be an active Christian; a reference from their current church minister/leader will be required.

We ask for this because there will be a need to:-
– lead or contribute to prayer for the work of SCWNS;
– pray with the Co-Ordinator, the Shelter Managers, and guests (if requested);
– provide pastoral and spiritual support to the Shelter Managers, and guests (if requested);
– make decisions from a place of faith, listening to what God is saying; and
– explain the Biblical and theological basis for the engagement of the churches in homelessness issues.

Scope of the post:-
– In Year 1, to learn about the Co-Ordinator role (by shadowing the current Co-Ordinator) as they:-
– Organise and co-ordinate the operational delivery of the SCWNS;
– Prepare for, secure resources for, and ensure the smooth running of, the SCWNS;
– Work with HARP, the Shelter Managers and the guests to ensure the SCWNS runs effectively, meets the needs of the guests, and treats guests and volunteers fairly and consistently;
– Support the Shelter Managers, their Deputies, and the teams of volunteers at each church; and
– Carry out the required administrative tasks.
– In Year 2 to become the Co-Ordinator with the current Co-Ordinator becoming the Deputy and being available as their mentor.
– In Year 3 to be the Co-Ordinator.

There is minimal work from May to September; mostly, this is confirming the host churches are available and, if necessary, recruiting more to fill any gaps. But, there are always meetings to attend, and possibly talks/presentations to be given (taking the display board, which needs to be updated every year). It may also be necessary to arrange training courses during the summer. There may also be a need to initiate some fund-raising (e.g. asking Waitrose about their green tokens).

By mid September, the host churches need to be contacted to confirm their availability to host. If some drop out, then other churches need to be contacted as a matter of urgency until at least 7 are available.

The first meetings with HARP and the Council need to take place in September.

The first formal planning meeting with all the Shelter Managers, their deputies, and representatives from HARP and SBC needs to be in late September/early October. The second one needs to take place in late October, and the third and final one in November, 2 or 3 weeks before the SCWNS open.

If required, it may be necessary to have a mid-season review meeting (late January / early February).

An end of season review meeting will need to be arranged in April (the exact date will depend on when Easter occurs).

Training courses for volunteers (covering First Aid, Personal Safety, Mental Health Awareness, Food & Hygiene, etc.) need to be arranged during September, October and November.

A Volunteer Briefing evening needs to be arranged (venue, programme and speakers) in early November.

Regular meetings to be attended are:-
a) The Complex Needs Panel (from October to April): chaired by SBC’s Rough Sleeper Co-Ordinator.
b) The Church and Community Night Shelter Forum: organised by Housing Justice and held at their office in Bermondsey. Approx. every 4 – 6 weeks from October to April. Plus an occasional conference (has been residential in the past: 1 – 4 nights).
c) Some of the Love Southend meetings (to give updates): usually on the last Sunday evening of each month [in 2019, these were/are on 27th Jan., 24th Feb., 24th March, 28th April; 23rd June, 28th July, 22nd Sept., 27th Oct., and 24th Nov.].

Most of the work needs to be done during the Shelter season.
– You have to be available on the phone at least 09:00 – 23:00 every day (unless away from Southend – you are allowed the occasional break!).
– You should visit every shelter for the first 2 weeks from about 18:30 – 20:30 (or until the meal or staying for the meal), and then as necessary / as available / as requested.
– You may be required to help the minibus driver and escort to load the minibus at Warrior Square on at least one evening per week (18:30 – 19:30).
– You should visit each shelter at least once per month.
– For the last week, you should visit each shelter on their last night.
– You need to keep an eye on the GOOGLE sheet.
– You must keep the Housing Justice spreadsheet up to date with Guest and Attendance data, so a good knowledge of EXCEL is a necessity.
– Establish and maintain contact with the Rough Sleeper Co-Ordinator (and other key staff) at HARP.
– Establish and maintain contact with the Rough Sleeper Co-Ordinator (and other key staff) at Southend Council.
– Establish and maintain contact with the key staff at Housing Justice.
– Establish and maintain contact with the Southend Community Policing Team.

An important duty will be to secure funding that will enable the Co-Ordinator role to be a paid post from the 2020/21 season onwards. There is currently no guarantee that the Council will continue to be given funding by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government that will enable them to provide a grant for this purpose.

Essential Qualities:
– An active Christian (see above).
– Availability during the season; sometimes, at short notice.
– An empathy with people who are experiencing homelessness, an understanding of their complex needs, and a desire to work with, and support, them.
– An ability to express the love and compassion of Jesus to the guests so they experience a Christian environment in the Shelters.
– A confident, effective advocate for the SCWNS, and the wider needs of our guests.
– A self-motivated individual with drive, determination and resilience.
– The ability to treat each guest with compassion, tact and respect, whilst maintaining appropriate professional boundaries.
– Strong interpersonal skills: the ability to listen to, and work effectively alongside, guests, volunteers, Shelter Managers, and partner agencies.
– Good oral and written communication skills.
– A valid and clean driving licence and access to personal transport (preferably a car).
– Good computer literacy, including familiarity with the MS Office suite (especially WORD & EXCEL).
– Presentational skills.
– Organisational skills.

Desirable Qualities:
– A good knowledge of Southend.
– Ability to deal with Council officials.

Please click here to see a full description of this role including hour timetable.

Hourly Rate:
The recent funding bid to SBC for the 2019/20 season asked for:-
– £10/hour (i.e. a total of £2,700 spread over the season as shown above).

However, if preferred, it could be arranged for the total amount to be claimed in 12 monthly instalments of £225.

N.B. Essential out-of-pocket expenses will be re-imbursed (receipts required).

Note: Currently, the Co-ordinator claims each monthly payment by submitting invoices to the Love Southend Treasurer. The total amount is then declared to HMRC who adjust their tax code accordingly.

Click here to download the application form for this job. Any questions should be directed to e-mail address.