Southend homeless charity HARP calls for volunteers to provide emergency support cover

HARP, Southend’s Homeless Charity, is calling for applicants for a volunteering opportunity which has opened up in their frontline services.

The charity is looking for people with experience working or volunteering in the homelessness, social care, health care or other related sectors, to be part of a reserve bank of Emergency Support Volunteers to provide emergency cover for their day service and supported housing in the event that large parts of the charity’s existing staff and volunteer team have to self-isolate.

Joanne Dear, HARP’s Volunteer Coordinator, said: “Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve made changes to the way we deliver our services in order to keep staff, volunteers and the people who use our services as safe as we possibly can. On occasion, this can lead to staff shortages when individuals or teams are required to self-isolate. However we still need to keep our services going. Emergency Support Volunteers will play an essential role in this.”

HARP supports people who are homeless, vulnerably housed or at risk of losing their home in Southend, providing housing and support to people staying in its 226 rooms on their journeys to independent living, and advice and guidance to local people who are without a home, sofa-surfing or at risk of becoming homeless. The charity also supports people who were formerly rough sleeping and temporarily housed in B&Bs by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council during the first lockdown and have now moved into permanent accommodation to help them sustain their tenancies.

Joanne continued: “We’re hoping we won’t need to call on this reserve bank of volunteers, but simply by being available for voluntary emergency cover they will be helping to protect the services we provide for some of Southend’s most vulnerable people. I’d like to encourage anyone with relevant experience to come forward.”

For more information and to apply to be an Emergency Support Volunteer for HARP, visit:


Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]