Catching Lives relies on the support of our volunteers to help provide a unique and vital service to our clients. As a small local charity, volunteers are essential to Catching Lives staying open every day of the week. Volunteers provide a friendly service and hot food from the kitchen which is at the heart of creating a safe, welcoming place where people can then get the help they need.
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.
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.
Help with afternoon activities is always welcome, and we can plan activities based on the interests and enthusiasm of the volunteers involved, along with the interests and enthusiasm of our clients! If you have a particular interest or skill to share, get in touch and let’s see what’s possible.
Activities usually take place between 2-4pm Monday-Friday (except for Wednesdays).
Popular activities include: quizzes, film club, book club, gardening (in our garden on-site), cookery, creative writing, and art activities.
We’ve had recent requests from clients for IT/digital skills workshops and poetry/creative writing, so we’d love to hear from volunteers who can lead these activities. This could be a limited series of weekly or monthly sessions rather than an open-ended commitment.
As a small, independent charity that relies largely on generous public donations, fundraising is an essential part of keeping the services and support we provide for our clients alive, and the doors of our day centre open every day of the week. We’d love to hear from anyone who can help with fundraising events or other fundraising ideas to bring in much-needed income for our Catching Lives.
Please click here for more details.
The amazing volunteer-run Catching Lives Bookshop is at 28 Palace Street, Canterbury, CT1 2DZ.
The building, known as the Crooked House, is an iconic landmark and open all week. Money generated from sales helps to fund Catching Lives. It’s a great place to find secondhand books for all ages, and for you to donate your pre-loved books. We also have an online eBay bookstore where you can find rare and high quality secondhand books at competitive prices.
You can find more information about the bookshop here
To apply to volunteer at the bookshop please contact 07899 458961
This highly rewarding role involves assisting our team of paid Project Workers in the core parts of the service, such as assessments, referrals and general engagement.
This is a specialist role, where training and support is offered, but it won’t be suited to everyone. To this end we ask that everyone interested in this role complete at least 3 months as a kitchen volunteer if you have no prior experience, or a minimum of 4 shifts as a kitchen volunteer if you have a background in social work, occupational therapy or similar roles. This gives you time to understand the support role better and get to know our clients, so you can decide if the role is right for you, and we’ll also be able to assess your skills for the role, for example around communication and boundaries.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Our community atmosphere at Catching Lives offers a great sense of wellbeing to everyone involved.
If you would like to apply to be a volunteer, please download our application form and email it to email@example.com
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).
Station Road East
Canterbury, CT1 2RB
Talk to Ruth, our volunteer co-ordinator about volunteering opportunities