Thursday, 5 September 2013

Drivetime Interview with Charity Workers Zoe Sigler and Jayne Walters

  Todays guests in the studio were Zoe Sigler and Jayne Walters, who are raising awareness of the charity organisation called The Open Door.  Zoe, who is a Volunteer Co-ordinator at The Open Door told us  "It's an emergency night shelter for st albans and surrounding area. They can receive shelter via a referral and can stay for up to 28 nights. During this time staff and volunteers offer support to help themselves with their situation and improve their lives".


  Jayne Walters is the PR Officer at the Hightown Praetorian & Churches Housing Association. The charity provides housing and support services to families, single people and people with additional needs. The housing association can also give referrals to those seeking shelter at The Open Door as well as supporting a number of other humanitarian charities.

  They have a drop in centre in Hemel Hempstead, which is open from  1.00pm - 2.30p Monday to Friday. Vulnerable members of the community can get food, advice and support from staff. They can also get a referral from other social services and networks or make contact with Open Door themselves.

   The service is now 21 years old and has flourished since 1992, with now currently over 100 volunteers predominantly working in the kitchens and the drop in sessions. They never turn potential volunteers away as they are the heart of soul of the charity. Running on a bank of staff the hours are flexible and acknowledge their volunteers busy life styles .

If you do wish to partake in either organisations you must be over 18 and commit to at least of 2 hours a shift within each month. All you need to do is complete an application form and a Disclosure of Barring Service form (DBS) as there are vulnerable people who seek support. Then there would be an informal interview, induction and overview of health and safety procedures.

  There are also a number of fund raising events held to raise donations including the annual Sleep In at the Abbey which will be Friday December 6th. They are also partaking in Dragons Apprentice.

  Whilst a lot of the helpers are from church groups, there is also a resurgence of young people wishing to gain experience and flesh out their CV's for university.  If you don't you simply don't have the time to work but want to help then click on the following links to donate money.

If you wish to find out more information about The Open Door click on the following link:

www.hpcha.org.uk/open-door.cfm

 If you wish to find out more about the Hightown Praetorian & Churches Housing Association information about  click on the following link:

www.hpcha.org.uk/residents-information/benefit-reform/

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