We depend on regular Working Friends – our wider community – who come and support all the work here at Scargill House.
Changes to how we fit together…
Scargill couldn’t function without its many volunteers, Friends and Companions. However, to remove the potential for confusion in the immigration processes, we’re going to be ‘re-labelling’ our external volunteers as ‘Working Friends’. But don’t worry – we’ll be gentle in the transition and no volunteers (or should I say Working Friends?!) will be harmed during the transition. We just wanted to make you aware that this change will be taking place.
Working Friends come and help for a day or for a week, or just a couple of times a year. We want to welcome people to Scargill, and make them feel comfortable, but sometimes we can’t do that without a lot of extra pairs of hands (and the warm hearts and smiles that come with them!).
Who can become a Working Friend?
Anyone! As long as you’re aged 18 or over and you think you’re fit enough. The nature of the work on house, kitchen and estate is quite physically demanding, so please be realistic about what you can manage — for your sake as well as ours. We don’t want you to go home so exhausted that you feel unable to come again! Most of our Working Friends are recruited from among our guests, who want to get more involved.
You will join one of our teams – House, Admin, Kitchen, Estate or Pastoral. On arrival, your work duties will be explained by the team leader or person in charge. Any health and safety issues will also be explained. We also value your support in helping to assist, serve and chat to guests:
- at meal times
- over drinks after meals and in the lounges
- during workshops and afternoon activities
You are encouraged, when able, to enter into the activities of the programme. It is also very helpful for speakers if they know they have the silent support of your prayers.
What would the hours be?
Each team has a different work schedule, and you’ll be informed as to the hours you will be expected to work. Most Community Members work an 8-hour day, but Working Friends will be allocated 5-6 hours (unless you are a pastoral helper or have already mentioned you can only work half a day). The working day may be divided into two parts, such as morning and/or afternoon and/or evening. There may be a weekly/weekend rota with different shifts.
How often might you come?
If you can come regularly (e.g. once a month, fortnightly or weekly) it helps both you and us. You will find that you soon become an experienced and valuable member of your team and a welcomed member of our ever-changing community family. Working Friends often come for several days at a time or, for those who live near enough, on a particular weekday/day of the month.
What about bed and board?
Accommodation is provided free of charge. We simply ask for a small payment of £7 per day to cover meals and refreshments (but if that’s a barrier, we’d rather you paid less than not come at all).
Can you join in?
If there is a specific talk, workshop or activity you would like to attend, please talk to your team leader as soon as possible, who will try to arrange time off for you!
What’s the next step?
Potential Working Friends need to complete an application form, and will come for an initial visit before completing a Working Friends Agreement. If you would like to progress this, please email the Working Friend co-ordinator, who will be delighted to hear from you.