Volunteering for The Haven

History of Volunteer Services at The Haven

The Haven Wolverhampton is a charity organisation which was established by two volunteers in 1973. Due to a lack of support for women in Wolverhampton at the time, these volunteers were encouraged to bring a change. The charity initially began as a homeless shelter which housed 6 women and their children. Today we have six refuges across Wolverhampton area which accomodates up to 63 women and 120 children. The Haven has flourished significantly and adopts a holistic approach to those affected by domestic abuse and homelessness.

Our purpose is to provide support and empowerment to women and children suffering from domestic abuse and homelessness. Volunteers within The Haven play a central role in delivering vital and life changing services to women and children by working with them, listening to them and responding to their needs accordingly.

The Haven Wolverhampton is also governed by a board of trustees who give their time on a voluntary basis to steer the organisation. The board of trustees consists of 11 members. These members come from different backgrounds and they bring experience, understanding of the charity sector, and the same passion and enthusiasm as any other volunteer. They work hard behind the scenes through regular meetings to ensure the good governance and strategic direction of the organisation.

Our belief


Our vision is to shift from Volunteer Management to a culture of Volunteer Engagement. In other words, strengthening organisational capacity through employee and volunteer collaboration and the development of high-impact, specialist volunteer opportunities that create greater influence and outcome for the organisation and our service users.


To foster stronger communities in which local people, community groups and businesses are actively involved in addressing domestic abuse and help them to make the biggest difference they can through volunteering opportunities at The Haven.

Work to rigorous, externally accredited and comprehensive standards locally, regionally and nationally in order to ensure a high-quality, innovative and progressive volunteer service that is focused on meaningful outcomes.


The Haven will follow the following values to shape the volunteer service culture. They will guide our strategy and how we will make decisions in the service.

  BE INCLUSIVE: We value diversity and offer equal opportunities for volunteers.

  BE COLLABORATIVE: We work in collaboration with partners, The Haven services & volunteers to achieve the best results for the organisation & the community

  WORK WITH INTEGRITY: We are open and honest & do what we believe is best for all the parties involved in the programme: service users, Haven services & volunteers.

  BE INNOVATIVE/TAKE ACTION: We explore new ideas and approaches to implement the volunteer service.

  USE EVIDENCE: We identify needs and measure impact base on research and volunteers/service users/staff member’s experiences.

  ACHIEVE EXCELLENCE: We look for quality and impact and what will add real value.

  INSPIRE/EMPOWER: We engage communities to address domestic abuse and homelessness.


  Adhering to The Haven Ethics: We place the interest of women and children at the heart of everything we do and make opportunities to involve them in the volunteer service whenever possible

  Partnering: We support, champion and work in partnership with other organisations, recognising that we can achieve more when we work together.

  Showing Leadership: We challenge staff members to do better, assume accountability with volunteers, participate in the programme and cultivate relationships with volunteers, inspire and support them to develop themselves.


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 Become a Volunteer

By volunteering with The Haven Wolverhampton you can find fulfilment and enjoyment in supporting particular awareness campaigns and helping to make a difference to the lives of women and children who are suffering from domestic abuse and homelessness through emotional and physical support and education. 

By volunteering with us, you will gain the following:

  Contributing towards educating and empowering women and children

  Gaining a better understanding of the UK charity sector and legislation relating to domestic abuse including civil/criminal legislation and welfare rights

  Networking opportunities and meeting new people

  Gaining confidence and obtaining practical and transferable skills to include in your Curriculum Vitae

  Having fun whilst making a big difference in your community

  Obtaining a reference letter upon completion and certificates of achievement and recognition.

  Accredited training opportunities

There are a number of ways in which you can volunteer and help The Haven Wolverhampton - Click a heading below and find out more!



  Are you over 18?

  Do you have a passion for working with vulnerable women and children?

The Haven Wolverhampton has 6 refuges located around Wolverhampton which relies upon committed volunteers to support women and children who are currently accessing our refuges. As a volunteer you will work closely with our experienced family support workers to provide high quality emotional and practical assistance to those affected by homelessness and domestic abuse through a variety of engaging activities. This will give you the opportunity to gain work experience in addressing the needs of victims of domestic abuse as well as develop your listening and organisational skills.

Click here to read the Refuge volunteer Job Description

 Children Services

 Are you over 18?

 Do you enjoy working with children and young people?

 Are you working towards, or do you have any formal qualifications recognising your experience working with children and young people?

E.g. Early Years Education; Children, Young People and Families Studies; Childminding Studies and so on

If you would like to volunteer in working with children and young people in an engaging and fun way, then please get in touch with us. As a volunteer you

will play a key role in delivering fun, interactive and educational activities to children from 0 to 16.

You will be providing therapeutic play and training sessions to help children and young people come to terms with their experiences, increase their self-esteem, security and sense of belonging. Homework clubs are also available for those who may be struggling at school.

Click here to read the Children and Young People Services volunteer Job Description


 Do you have any skills or hobbies that you would like to share?

 Do you have a passion for teaching?

If yes, we welcome volunteers with different skills and experiences to help deliver and organise activities and workshops, which would benefit both women and children who are currently accessing our refuges. The activities we arrange helps women and children gain new skills, obtain an increased knowledge and understanding, and help boost self-esteem and confidence.

The following are some of the activities we deliver at The Haven:

 Beauty and therapeutic sessions such as reiki, reflexology or physiotherapy.

 Arts and crafts workshops

 Music workshops

 Life skills workshops such as IT, CV and cover letter writing, creative writing, cooking

 Sports and dancing

 Educational trips

 E.S.O.L classes to support those women whose English is not their first language



The Haven Wolverhampton has a service knowns as a 24 hour domestic abuse helpline, which serves vulnerable women and their children

who are in need of confidential advice or support.

When you volunteer in this area, you will provide confidential telephone support and practical help to women experiencing domestic abuse

and/or homelessness on our 24 hour helpline.


Click here to read the Helpline volunteer Job Description

Intervention and Specialist Advocacy Support

Volunteers involved in this aspect of The Haven’s service assist those women who experience domestic abuse, but may not wish to access our refuge accommodation.

As a volunteer you will be working with highly skilled support workers to help clients devise safety plans, progress housing and benefits applications, deal with

immigration matters and take cases through to the criminal justice system and access to external community support services.

Working in this department will allow you to gain an insight into how The Haven works in collaboration with other local, national and international organisations.


Click here to read the Immigration and Benefits volunteer Job Description


 Are you in your final year of a Psychology degree or studying MSc/PG Diploma in Counselling Psychology (Year 2)?

 Do you already have a Level 3 Diploma in Counselling or working towards a Level 5 in Counselling (College)?

Counselling is a type of talking therapy, usually conducted in a confidential and reliable environment, which allows individuals to assess and reflect upon their situations and feelings and work towards finding effective coping mechanisms to help deal with everyday life.

Counselling practice is an essential element of training in order to become a qualified counsellor. The Haven Wolverhampton offers you the opportunity to complete a placement in this area. In fact, The Haven has put in place an effective process to ensure that trainee counsellors get the most of their placements and receive the support required to complete their course successfully.   

The quality of the service is ensured by following the BACP guidelines and ethical framework as well as the current legislation and The Haven policies & procedures that we have put in place for the delivery of this particular service. In order to be a volunteer counsellor at The Haven you will need to have the appropriate membership and have clinical supervision in place.


Fundraising volunteers make a valuable contribution to the work we do. We are always looking for volunteers to help with our vital fundraising work and raising awareness.

The Haven runs a range of fundraising events and campaigns throughout the year that you may wish to get involved in. For further information on some of our fundraising events please contact give@havenrefuge.org.uk

Likewise, if you have any ideas, why not organise your own events or put in practise your event management and leadership skills? If you are interested in organising your own fundraising event we would love to hear from you and provide you with guidance along the way.

Whether you wish to organise your own fundraising event or get involved in ours, you are certain to have a great time, develop new social networks by meeting new people and feel good about making an important contribution to our work by promoting events and raising awareness of our charity.

Click here to read the Fundraising volunteer Job Description


Business Support

This area primarily involves providing support within different departments including:

 Human Resources



 Public Relations

 Information and Technology support

As a volunteer you will work behind the scenes to ensure that our organisation functions smoothly, where we can provide the best possible service for the women and children that need us.


 Are you over 18?

 Are you studying relevant courses or experienced in painting, decorating, carpentry or plumbing?

If yes, then why not apply your knowledge into practice? Volunteering in this area will mean you will have a crucial task as any other volunteer in helping to keep our sites in excellent condition and provide assistance to the maintenance and repairs, which can help us continue our work with women and children who access our services.

Click here to read the Maintenance Assistant volunteer Job Description

Click here to read the Maintenance Team volunteer Job Description

Peer Mentor

 Are you aged 18 or over?

 Have you experience domestic abuse (either by a partner/ immediate family) in the past?

 Do you feel that you want to give something back and support other women with similar experiences?

 Are you mentally prepared and confident to become a positive role model for The Haven Wolverhampton?

 Do you have a good level of English to be able to complete a level two peer mentoring course?

 Would you be willing to complete a four weeks peer mentoring training?

If yes, and you are interested in volunteering as a peer mentor, then this may be the opportunity for you!

Women who have been supported by The Haven or experienced domestic abuse in the past can support their peers by providing knowledge, experience, as well as emotional, social and practical support. These programmes promote confidence and independent skills, and you will also have the opportunity to gain a Level 2 Peer Mentoring Qualification from the Open College Network.

Upon completion of this qualification you will become a Volunteer Peer Mentor and have the chance to shadow a team of experienced family support workers to not only get a better understanding, but also be actively involved in supporting women and children with experiences of domestic abuse and homelessness.

Click here to read the Peer Mentor volunteer Job Description

University and College Placements

The Haven Wolverhampton offers a range of opportunities for university students to obtain invaluable work experience during their course of study.

During a placement, you will shadow experienced member of staff where you will have the opportunity to gain an insight into your chosen sector or career. It will also enable you to obtain vital personal skills and the opportunity to build a network of useful contacts.

The Haven works in partnership with a number of institutions across West Midlands including the following:


Aston University
Wolverhampton University
Newman University

 European Mobility Programmes

European Voluntary Services (EVS) is a programme funded by the Erasmus Programme and the EU Commission, which enables people between 18-30 from any European Member state to volunteer abroad and obtain practical skills and experience. In particular, the duration of our EVS programme is 12 months. This programme allows volunteers to learn a new language, meet new people and gain knowledge of another country and culture. For any further information on this scheme please follow this link: https://europa.eu/youth/EU/volunteering/european-voluntary-service_en

This year we are honored to have 10 volunteers from Spain, Italy and Germany. We are now recruiting for new volunteers to start in 2019.

Click here to see the Information for Volunteering article

At The Haven, European Volunteers are encouraged to volunteer across different departments, which enable them to obtain an understanding of different roles within the organisation. It also help boost their skills whilst gaining work experience supporting vulnerable women and children, and learning how the UK Charity sector operates. This take place through a structured programme, which is tailored according to the applicant’s motivations, experiences, skills and the needs of the organisation.

Funded by the EU’s Erasmus+ Programme, the selected participants for this project will be supported with:

 Cost of travel to and from UK airport


 Accommodation with utilities

 Local travel in Europe

 Subsistence money

 Vocational training / Language training and certification

 Work placement

EVS volunteers are expected to undertake specific roles relating to the YIA project. This include raising awareness of cultural aspects from their home country, sharing good practices and deliver activities to empower women and help promote gender equality.

Other Erasmus+ Programmes: 

Erasmus+ allows access to opportunities for all - students, staff, trainees, teachers, volunteers and more. For further information on Erasmus+ please follow the link here:


If you are interested getting involved as an EVS or for any further information please contact Avril Simpson on avril.simpson@havenrefuge.org.uk

Corporate Volunteering

Corporate Volunteering
Employee Volunteering

Are you looking for a change of scenery from your normal work? Or do you simply wish to contribute to your local community? Interested in doing something different for your team building exercises?

Here at The Haven we offer opportunities of corporate volunteering to all of our corporate partners. We have a range of fun and innovative opportunities which allows our corporate volunteers to develop their skills and bring positive contributions in their local community.

The following are just a few examples from our range of corporate volunteering opportunities though these are not exhaustive, we welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss the best way to work together.

Employee Volunteering: support your employees in volunteering with us through:

 Gardening projects.

 Organise theme events for the children during seasonal periods: Christmas, Easter, Beach Party etc…

 Sorting Donations.

 Pro-Bono Work: contribute to our objectives in a way which is relevant to your business such as providing technology, assisting with legal work and housing options, property valuation and structural surveying services.

Corporate volunteering could benefit your business by:

 Enhancing your corporate image and improving the perception of your brand within the local community

 Motivating your staff, offering an opportunity for team building and developing new skills

 Achieving customer loyalty, attract new customers and bring real benefits to families we support

 Generating publicity for your company through our website, newsletter and social media


For more information, download our corporate volunteering information sheet, then fill in the corporate volunteering inquiry/application form.

“For more information about our corporate volunteering opportunities, please contact avril.simpson@havenrefuge.org.uk

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Steps to Volunteering

1. If you are interested in volunteering, you must first complete and send the following application form. You will then be contacted within 2 weeks.

  Click here to download a Volunteer Application Form.

2. The next step will be an invitation to an informal interview. You must bring the necessary documentation requested for your Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks along with 2 references.

3. If successful, you will be invited to attend an induction day. During the induction you will receive mandatory training on Domestic Abuse Awareness and you will complete a mandatory online Safeguarding Adults and Children training.

4. Once your DBS check is processed, a DBS form will be sent to your home address within 4-6 weeks. A copy of this should be submitted to the Volunteer Engagement Lead.

5. Finally, when your DBS and references have been received, your volunteer placement will commence. A location and a supervisor will be assigned to you who will guide you every step of the way.

Interview Dates

Interview Date/Time: TBC 
Interview Date/Time: TBC 

Induction Dates

Thursday 15th November 2018Domestic Abuse AwarenessWaterloo Road (New staff, counsellors, students, volunteers)10 am - 4.30 pm
Thursday 7th February 2018Domestic Abuse AwarenessWaterloo Road (New staff, counsellors, students, volunteers)10 am - 4.30 pm


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Our Team

Avril Simpson

Avril is the Volunteer Services Co-ordinator at The Haven Wolverhampton. She joined The Haven in January 2019 and has a background in volunteer management in the charity sector.

She has significant experience in recruiting and managing volunteers and is keen to engage the local community to support and promote The Haven’s wide range of services. The Haven’s volunteer service aims to ensure that everyone who volunteers with us feels valued, developed and supported.


Alex is also part of a 12 months European Mobility programme and he is contributing as a Volunteer Service Administrator. He has a Bachelor's degree in Administration/Business Management. Alex is a highly skilled administrator with experience in Human Resources, Accounting and International/National Trade Consultancy. After having long-term stays abroad, he speaks several languages.

 Rebecca Matthews

Rebecca is the Training Coordinator at The Haven Wolverhampton. She has a significant experience of working directly with women who have experienced domestic abuse and have worked in the sector for 17 years, trained for 6 years and PTTLS qualified.

She has been working for the organisation for just over a year three days a week, part-time. She offers in-house training to The Haven Wolverhampton staff in domestic abuse awareness, safeguarding, domestic homicide reviews, FGM, equality and diversity and early help.

She delivers the Freedom Programme to women in refuges as well as in the community. She also teaches an Open College Network West Midlands Peer Mentoring qualification. The Haven Wolverhampton offers Peer Mentoring training for women who have experienced domestic abuse and feel that they are emotionally ready to support other women and to act as positive role models for The Haven Wolverhampton and can motivate and inspire women that are experiencing domestic abuse.

Rebecca has developed a programme called, ‘Appreciate Me’ which is aimed at preventing young people (13 to 18-year-old boys and girls) from becoming perpetrators and victims of abusive relationships.

On top of that she offers external training which is available to other organisations in domestic abuse awareness and our newest training which is ‘Understanding Controlling or Coercive Behaviour’. This training is the only one in the West Midlands that concentrates on just this subject.

Rebecca is passionate about working with women and their families, as she believes all women and children should live in a society free from violence and abuse, homelessness and oppression. She strongly believes in empowering women to make decisions and choices that allow them and their families to thrive.

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 Frequently Asked Questions

Who can volunteer?

We have volunteers of all stages of life and backgrounds. Anyone with a spare time can volunteer with The Haven Wolverhampton as long as you are over 18.

Criminal convictions must be declared in your application form. You will need to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check if your volunteer role involves access to young people and children or vulnerable adults.

How much time do I have to give?

We ask that you commit five hours a day per week with a minimum stay of three months. Travel costs will be reimbursed as long as you have a valid receipt.

What training would I receive?

All Haven volunteers receive Domestic Violence Awareness Induction Training. When as a volunteer you have completed 6 months volunteering, as a committed volunteer you are given the opportunity to achieve a recognised level 3 OCNWMR qualification in ‘Working with Survivors of Domestic Violence’.

  Early Help

  Confidentiality and sharing information

  Equal opportunitites


REBECCA MATHEWS - talk to her about training programmes for volunteers.

If you have any queries about volunteering with The Haven Wolverhampton, please contact the Volunteer Engagement Lead on:

Telephone: 01902 904677, Ext.4020

Email: Marta.Rios@havenrefuge.org.uk

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Institute of Fundraising - Open College Network
Community Matters - Women's Aid
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