There are many ways for youth groups and young adults to be involved with NightShift Street Ministries. Whether you and your group are interested in regular volunteering or a one-off visit, helping onsite or elsewhere, here are some of the ways you can help us help others. Here’s our current schedule of groups regularly involved in the evening NightShift programs.
Youth and young adult groups, age 16+
♥ Evening Street Outreach
NightShift welcomes small groups of youth and young adults to come out with their group leaders (ratio 1:5) in support of our regular evening Street Outreach Teams. This would be to help with our nightly service of food, clothing and companionship to our street family, and must be by prior arrangement.
Group leaders, who are expected to assume responsibility for the youth group for the duration of the night, must be at least 19 years of age and have participated in our Level I Training for volunteers. Similarly, youth who wish to participate on a regular basis are invited to attend our Volunteer Training program which is mandatory for all regular volunteers.
The evening hours of operation are typically 6:30-8:30 pm and we ask that all youth group leaders check in with the Street Outreach Team Leader of the night.
♥ AOK Program
Many of our street friends would admit to not having a single friend. With our Acts of Kindness “AOK” Program we hope to meet some of this need.
The program is suitable for young adults (age 16+) and operates off site in Whalley in the evenings. AOK teams tend to comprise groups of university or high school students. Each team operates under the supervision of a group leader (ratio 1:4 – that is, one adult for every four youth under the age of 19).
The prime goal of AOK teams is to meet and engage with people on the streets. Conversation and encouragement is key, and when available, we offer snacks, hot chocolate and bibles. Wherever appropriate, we refer people we meet on those walks to access the NightShift Evening Street Outreach and the Care Bus for additional support.
The first time I came to volunteer I had no idea what to expect and I left NightShift fulfilled, broken, and humbled by the experience. Our friends living on the streets in Surrey are genuine, friendly, and are grateful to share a laugh or tear over a cup of hot chocolate. Throughout my time volunteering I was able to establish real and meaningful relationships with the men and women on the street. I was also able to share in the joy of hearing my name called out by street friends happy to see me each week, while at the same time bringing a smile to their face by knowing their names. The experience brought new perspective to how I view those around myself, both on and off of the street, and allowed me to see Gods love and faithfulness in the brokenness of the streets. I look forward to continuing the AOK volunteer program this season!
High school, church and other youth groups
We welcome youth groups who come to NightShift under the supervision of their teacher or youth group leader during the daytime, too. Maybe you’d like to help us in our warehouse, or by cleaning up around the premises, or in supporting the local community. There are many other ways for you to support people in need in our community, such as arranging a food or clothes drive, or helping us raise funds. Let us know how you’d like to get involved and contact us for further information.
Children of all ages
Children may accompany their parents or guardians (ratio 1:2) at the discretion of their parents and as part of their parents’ volunteering role. Parents/guardians must complete Consent Forms for each child under the age of 19.
General guidelines for our youth and young adults participating in NightShift Street Outreach and AOK programs:
- A parent/legal guardian must complete a Consent Form for each child or youth under the age of 19 who wishes to serve on the streets. This is for one-time visitors as well as regular volunteers.
- Youth who wish to come out on the street on a regular basis are required to attend our INFO and ORIO program which is mandatory for all regular volunteers.
- NightShift Evening Street Outreach operates outside regardless of the weather, so please dress appropriately. Generally umbrellas don’t work well. We ask that you dress discreetly, with no tight-fitting clothes, bare midriffs or open-toed shoes.
- Respect personal boundaries: under no circumstances are you to give or receive money or gifts from our street friends, share your phone number or email address, or offer rides to our street friends.
- Please leave first aid care to the clinics and hospitals.
- While volunteering with NightShift, please do not smoke, uses alcohol or illegal drugs of any type.
Please contact us if you have any questions regarding our Youth and Young Adult programs.