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Become a Volunteer

Be part of a team

Be part of a team

Catching Lives relies on the support of our volunteers to help us provide the unique and vital service that we offer to our clients. We are living in times when government funding to charities is being reduced or severely cut, and the funding that remains is often being given to larger, national charities, meaning this support is now more vital than ever.

Catching Lives is run with a small staff team and we are very fortunate to have the help, on a daily basis, of a large and extremely supportive team of volunteers. This team includes students, job seekers, working and retired people; from backgrounds as diverse as teachers, administrators, professional chefs, church groups, gardeners and full-time carers.


Without the continuing support of our wonderful existing volunteer base, and that of the new volunteers that join us every month, it would not be possible to continue our work.

2022 Statistics

Individual Clients
New Clients
Total Footfall

Ways You Can Help

Volunteer in our Kitchen

Our Kitchen is the beating heart of the Open Centre, and we are always looking for volunteers with at least basic cooking skills to help us prepare and serve breakfast and a hot lunch to our clients.

The kitchen volunteer shift is 8:30am – 13:30pm.

Winter Provision

We have also extended our provisions due to the cold weather and need your support. For more details please see here

Client Activities

Help with client activities is always welcomed – and very much relies on the interests and enthusiasm of the volunteers involved. So if you have a particular interest that is relatively easy to organise and would benefit our clients please let us know.

Activities mostly take place between 14.00pm-16.00pm Monday-Friday.

Activities that have been organised recently include: quiz afternoons, film club, book club, gardening (in our adjacent garden), literacy & numeracy support and art activities.

Fundraising Volunteers

As a small, independent charity that relies largely on the kind financial donations of the public, fundraising is an essential part of keeping the services and support we provide for our clients alive, and the doors of our Open Centre, open! Therefore, we would love to hear from you if you would like to help with fundraising events, or if you have any other fundraising ideas.

Please click here for more details.


Bookshop Volunteers

We have a Second Hand Bookshop on 28 Palace Street, Canterbury, CT1 2DZ.

The building, known as the Crooked House, is an iconic landmark and is open all week, and the money generated from all book sales goes directly to Catching Lives; it’s a great place to find books for all ages, and for you to donate your old books to when they are finished.

You can find more information about the bookshop here
To apply to volunteer at the bookshop please contact 07899 458961



Volunteer Project Workers

This highly rewarding role involves assisting the paid Project Workers in the core parts of the service; working one to one with clients, completing Risk and Needs Assessments, advocacy, referral to accommodation and any other general client facing engagement that may be required.

This is a specialist role that offers full-training but is not suited to everyone. To this end we ask that everyone interested in this role complete at least 3 months as a general or kitchen volunteer if they have no prior experience, or a minimum of 4 shifts as a general or kitchen volunteer if they have a background in social work, occupation therapy or a similar experience, so that we can assess you for the role, and so you can decide if the role is right for you.




Group Volunteering Days

We are lucky enough to have regular Groups of 8-10 employees from local businesses join us for a single, organised day of varied volunteering activities.

If you are an employee or owner of a local business that would be interested in joining for a day of helping out at the Charity, please find our Group Volunteering Day guide here

or email volunteer@catchinglives.org





Why Volunteer?

Our community atmosphere at Catching Lives offers a great sense of wellbeing to everyone involved.

  • Meet new people and make friends
  • Feel valued and part of a team
  • Get to know your local community
  • Spend quality time away from your busy life
  • Gain confidence and self esteem
  • Gain new skills, knowledge and experience
  • Enhance your CV and improve your employment prospects
  • You really can help to make a difference to a homeless person's life

Download an Application Form

If you would like to apply to be a volunteer, please download our application form and email it to volunteer@catchinglives.org

Visiting the Canterbury Open Centre

If you are thinking of getting involved with CatchingLives and would like to find out more about the work we do, you are welcome to visit the Canterbury Open Centre, but it would be helpful if you could let us know you are coming so please call to arrange a visit first (01227 464904).

Want to get involved?

Open Centre

Station Road East

Canterbury, CT1 2RB

  • Phone : 01227 464904
  • Daily : 9:00am - 2:00pm
  • volunteer@catchinglives.org

Talk to Ruth, our volunteer co-ordinator about volunteering opportunities