This is a unique opportunity to carry out a highly rewarding role as part of a visionary frontline service. For as little as four hours per week/fortnight you could be part of the UK’s first pedal-powered homeless outreach service.
StreetCycles has been run exclusively by highly-trained volunteers, who help us rise to the challenge of supporting people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, since it was launched in 2017. StreetCycles is part of a wider team made up of a dedicated Street Team and StreetCycles Team that cover Edinburgh City and outskirts, a Housing First team that work intensively with people and the Holyrood Hub, our multi-agency support centre for support and advice.
StreetCycles is a mobile project that helps us reach people outwith the city centre – an extension of our Street Team but on two wheels which can go further, quicker. The e-Bikes can carry sleeping bags, basic first aid provisions and other essentials to offer people.
Volunteers can also visit B&Bs, where people are in temporary accommodation, to deliver essentials such as kettle foods and toiletries. Though people we support living in B&Bs have a roof over their head, they are isolated, vulnerable and have limited income.
- Act as an ambassador for Simon Community Scotland. This will crucially involve cycling in accordance with the laws of the road and acting in a responsible, professional manner at all times
- Provide positive, practical support to people who are at risk of sleeping rough
- Liaise with the Street Team to provide continuity of care
- Provide people who receive our support encouragement to seek and achieve positive solutions
- Offer practical help such as distribution of water, underwear, socks, sleeping bags and Period Friendly Packs
- Maintain a record of the people you have been in contact with throughout your shift (using our online database BRYAN)
- Participate in team meetings to aid continuous improvement of our volunteer experience and how we provide support to people in our services
Skills and Qualities Required
Successful StreetCycles Volunteers will:
- Have a reasonable level of fitness – you must be capable of cycling for several hours at a time, over a variety of terrain and in changeable weather
- Have the ability to competently ride a bike on roads
- Have the ability to work with people in a way that takes into consideration their individual and cultural beliefs without expressing personal opinion
- Be able to approach your volunteering role and tasks with a flexible and non judgemental attitude
- Be empathetic towards our people who receive our support
- Have good communication and people skills
- Enjoy meeting and interacting with people from diverse backgrounds
We welcome volunteers to stay with us and continue to help us make a difference in people’s lives. 12 months would be the ideal minimum but we respect your time and commitment’s elsewhere.
For this role we ask for a minimum of 4 hours per week/fortnight.
Our recruitment follows the Safer Recruitment process, which means giving consideration to safeguarding arrangements at every step. We will ask you to attend an informal interview, provide us with two references and attend our Mini IMPACT training – a shortened version of our dynamic 5-day staff programme.
Support and Training
- A full and comprehensive induction is provided for this role
- In-role training is available – we value our volunteers and want to ensure you are equipped with the skills you need to fulfil your role
- Out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed in accordance with our Policy
- Signposting to further online training from other third sector organisations
- Shadow shifts will help you prepare for the role – you will complete at least three before becoming a fully fledged member of the team
- Simon Community Scotland together with Volunteer Scotland and Disclosure Scotland will support you with the required PVG process
What’s in it for me?
For as little as 4 hours per week/fortnight you have the chance to meet new people and be part of an amazing team who are passionate about what they do.
Everything we do is about and for people: the people we support, our staff, our partners and everyone affected by homelessness. Each person involved brings their individual skills and creativity to the work we do. This is a chance for you to make a real difference to the most vulnerable people within your community and pick up essential skills that are valuable to employers.
We would like people who care about people who receive our support and who are enthusiastic and able to respond flexibly to a role that can sometimes be challenging, but brings great rewards and satisfaction.
We need you to be fully committed to Simon Community Scotland’s Mission and Core Values and adhere to our policies/procedures and Code of Practice.
If you need any help completing this form please contact us: volunteering@simonscotland.