Volunteer needed at Quaker Cottage, Belfast

Quaker Cottage – a unique Quaker charity making love visible to those for whom it is often absent – urgently needs a full-time volunteer.

“Experience with children is helpful; but love for them is essential.”

Having had a long-term volunteer leave us unexpectedly, we now have an immediate opportunity for a volunteer colleague to live and work at Quaker Cottage, a cross-community family support centre situated on the side of Black Mountain, overlooking West Belfast. Quaker Cottage is a very special day centre that provides care and support for disadvantaged families referred by social services. Typically, the families have experienced some form of trauma in their lives or have difficulty coping with day-to-day living. All participant families live in areas most affected by the conflict in Northern Ireland.

Quaker Cottage aims to provide a safe and caring environment to actively promote increased self-esteem, greater family understanding and cooperation, improved social and life skills, enhanced development, and mutual understanding and respect.

Traditionally our voluntary colleagues stay with us for a year but on this occasion, we will also consider someone who may not be available for the full year but who can help in the interim until we can secure longer term support.

Role Description
You will be required to work with children from 0-18 years old, using a very individualised and effective model of child care. All of these children come from areas which have experienced a high level of violence, and much of the behaviour that they display is negative. An attitude of tolerance and understanding is imperative. The working week is Monday to Friday. Other tasks include cooking, cleaning and minibus driving. Volunteering at Quaker Cottage is rewarding but it can also be physically and emotionally difficult. Commitment to giving 100% to the children is key. Experience with children is helpful; love for them is essential. Volunteers must have experience in minibus driving or be willing to learn. One week in six, the child care volunteers will be expected to prepare a meal for 10 adults and 12 children.

Volunteers are provided with purpose-built accommodation and transport. Living and other out of pocket expenses are reimbursed to a value not exceeding £54 per week.

Accommodation (if required)
A modern cottage/bungalow with your own room, a shared living room and a large kitchen/dining area. It is purpose-built and is exclusively for the use of volunteers – located adjacent to the day-centre. Facilities include TV, DVD player, CD/MP3 player, washer/dryer and Wi-Fi facilities. There is a basic PC for volunteers to use but many choose to bring a laptop.

Other comments: Applicants should feel free to email, or phone the project with any questions about the work. Initially they should contact Grant McCullough by email at quakercottage@quakerservice.com or tel: +44 28 90714500.