The shelter is run by volunteers and simply could not operate without them.  We believe that volunteering at the night shelter is an incredibly valuable and rewarding experience.

The Forest Churches Emergency Night Shelters first opened in January 2009 when a small group volunteers from local churches decided to meet the need for night shelter provision in the borough and open their doors for rough sleepers every night through the coldest winter months. We catered for 130 rough sleepers that first winter. Every year since, the shelters have grown and more and more homeless people are welcomed into a safe and warm environment.

Volunteers are an essential part of the team contributing to the overall success of FCENS. It can be a heart-warming and rewarding experience, sharing your time and effort with an interesting and varied group of people, both guests and fellow volunteers. Volunteers can give as much time as they are able to and are welcome to come just for an hour or for anything up to the whole shift.

Volunteering roles include: setting up the venue for the shelter, cooking, service, welcoming guests, providing support to night awake staff, cooking breakfast, clearing away, fundraising.

As a volunteer, you can make a unique and tangible different to people’s lives. Come and be part of something special in Waltham Forest.

Volunteer with Forest Night Shelter 2018/2019

If you are able to give two hours to help us on one evening during the week then we would love to have your help. Can you cook a meal for 40 people? Are you an early riser – could you help prepare breakfast? Could you help in any other way? Please complete the application and send to the address below. Alternatively you can email the form to info@forestnightshelter.org.uk

Volunteers will receive training and a handbook of our procedures. For more information, download our Volunteer Handbook and Application form:

Please download the FCENS Volunteer Application Form here

Please download the FCENS Volunteer Handbook here


Forest Night Shelter will close from 22nd/23rd – 29th/30th December 2018 (tbc) when our Guest are provided with transport and invited to Crisis at Christmas. As well as warmth, companionship and hot meals, centres will provide guests with healthcare and specialist advice on housing, work and benefits. Crisis need over 10,000 volunteers if you are interested you can apply here:



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