Volunteers Needed: Crisis at Christmas 2013

Crisis at Christmas cen­ters offer home­less and vulnerably-​housed people com­pan­ion­ship at a time of year which can be par­tic­u­larly lonely for those without a home or family. For over 40 years, Crisis at Christmas has helped over 3000 guests a year to alle­viate that loneli­ness, opening cen­ters across London that not only offer vital com­pan­ion­ship, hot meals and warmth, but a wide range of essen­tial ser­vices that are not nor­mally available.

With nine cen­ters across London last year, Crisis were able to house 3,400 guests, provide 23,400 meals, provide 714 med­ical assess­ments and care for 379 pairs of untreated feet across 16,184 volun­teer shifts.

The Aimar Found­a­tion has provided all the tech­no­logy to sup­port the Crisis at Christmas pro­ject for over five years. For 2012, we delivered over 260 vir­tual desktops, thin cli­ents and asso­ci­ated peri­pherals, 30 net­worked MFD’s, a VOIP tele­phony system with 90 hand­sets and con­nectivity to five of the sites, including a WiFi and 3G solu­tion. The envir­on­ment was oper­ated 24/​7 with a 24 hour sup­port model for the entire Crisis at Christmas period.

We are looking for volun­teers to help with one or more of the following:

  • Deploy­ment Activ­ities:
    • From 16th – 21st December we require volun­teers to help deploy the tech­no­logy in the Crisis at Christmas centres.
    • Sign Up here con­firming your details, the role, your avail­ab­ility and loc­a­tion pref­er­ence (see Addi­tional inform­a­tion for site loc­a­tions).
  • Sup­port Activ­ities:
    Between 22nd to 30th December we are looking for volun­teers to provide the following:

    • First line tech­no­logy sup­port to the Crisis at Christmas centres Sign Up here con­firming via the Crisis Volun­teer regis­tra­tion process.
    • Second line cent­ral­ised tech­no­logy sup­port and incident co-​ordination. Fur­ther details and how to Sign Up are below (see ‘Addi­tional Inform­a­tion’).
  • Deco Activ­ities:
    • On 30th December we are looking for volun­teers to help decom­mis­sion the sites at the end of the event. Sign Up Here con­firming your details, the role and loc­a­tion pref­er­ence (see Addi­tional inform­a­tion for site locations).


Thank You in Advance for your Help, Expertise and Assist­ance.
If you should have any ques­tions, please con­tact us.
Follow us on Twitter @aimarfoundation

Addi­tional Information

Cent­ral­ised Sup­port (ASC)

Based in the Oper­a­tions centre in Ber­mondsey you will serve as the first point of escal­a­tion for IT Troubleshooters and Shift Offices in the centres, either advising remotely or in some cases deploying to site to resolve issues.

The Aimar Sup­port Cell (ASC) role involves ded­ic­ated volun­teer shifts (min­imum of 3 pre­ferred) as it is a spe­cial­ised func­tion requiring con­tinuity through the week. Shifts will run from 07:00–15:30 and 14:45–23:00 (the cros­sover is for a han­dover between shifts) with a target of 2 per shift. Shifts are avail­able from the after­noon of the 22nd December through to the after­noon of 29th December. ASC volun­teers will receive remote training from the Aimar Core Team on the sys­tems, sup­port tools and pro­cesses with access to online tutorials and videos.

The role will be primarily desk based, using a web portal developed by Aimar to mon­itor issues logged in the centres by IT Troubleshooters, updating records of known issues and assisting to find res­ol­u­tions lever­aging tools, doc­u­mented know­ledge, your expertise and man­aging escal­a­tion to Aimar’s tech­no­logy part­ners or our third line ‘SWAT’ team. The ASC volun­teers could also receive calls dir­ectly from both IT Troubleshooters in centres and from Shift Office Volun­teers reporting issues and seeking assist­ance. It is likely that ASC volun­teers will on occa­sion deploy to centres to help resolve issues on site with trans­port provided by Crisis.

A stick of spare equip­ment will be loc­ated at the Oper­a­tions Centre and at each of the Crisis Centres around London.

How to Sign Up for the ASC

  1. Go to http://​christmas​.crisis​.org​.uk
  2. 2. Com­plete the ‘Volun­teer Regis­tra­tion’ sec­tion and ‘Register’
  3. 3. Com­plete ‘Step 1’ of the applic­a­tion ‘Per­sonal Details’
  4. 4. In ‘Step 2’ under ‘Role Selec­tion’ click ‘yes’ to the ques­tion ‘Do you have a senior volun­teer password?’
  5. 5. Enter the pass­word ‘supportcell13’
  6. 6. Scroll down and select the ‘Hub’ under the ‘Select a Team’ section
  7. 7. Select ‘ASC’ in right hand panel ‘Select a Role’
  8. 8. ‘Pro­ceed to Step 3’ and answer the ‘Qual­i­fying Ques­tions’ and ‘Pro­ceed to Step 4’
  9. 9. In this stage you can select your pre­ferred shifts for the ‘Hub’
  10. 10. ‘Pro­ceed to Step 5’ and com­plete the remaining ele­ments of the process.

Crisis Centre Locations

Ref­er­ence Centre Name Loc­a­tion
SLDC South London Day Centre Ber­mondsey
NLDC North London Day Centre Kings Cross
WLDC West London Day Centre Ham­mer­smith
ELDC East London Day Centre Hackney
SELDC South East London Day Centre Lew­isham
LRS Link Rough Sleepers Res­id­en­tial Centre Bat­tersea
WRS Winter Rough Sleepers Res­id­en­tial Centre Chalk Farm
ORS Out­reach Rough Sleepers Res­id­en­tial Centre Ber­mondsey
GRC The Gate Res­id­en­tial Centre Royal Docks
WRC Womens Res­id­en­tial Centre Lad­broke Grove