Bedford winter night shelter

Bedford Winter Night Shelter

King’s Arms Project have felt compelled to step forward and help to provide a warm and safe place for our homeless community in Bedford during the winter of 23/24.

We don’t feel we can stand by and allow people to freeze and potentially die on our streets through the cold months.

Do you feel the same? Then volunteer to help make the Bedford Night Shelter  happen! Give your time, cook or contribute food during December, January and February. The specific roles we are seeking are below.

What now? Complete the short interest form and we will get in touch.

Volunteer Roles at the Winter Night Shelter

All roles at 56 Harpur Street, Bedford, MK40 2QT

Evening Volunteer:
7pm – 10.30/11pm

To support the shift leader in running a welcoming and safe space for rough sleepers seeking shelter for the night.

  • Welcome guests
  • Help prepare sleeping area
  • Help heat up food
  • Serve guests warm food and drinks
  • Help maintain a calm and friendly environment
  • Play games, have chat with guests
  • Help settle guests for sleeping

Overnight Volunteer:
10.45pm - 7.15am

To assist overnight security in ensuring a peaceful and safe night for guests.

  • Monitor movement in the building
  • Check on sleeping area periodically
  • Serve drinks if a guest is awake needing refreshment
  • Prepare kitchen area for breakfast
  • Process any laundry which needs doing on site

Morning Volunteer:
7am - 8.30am

To assist the shift leader in providing breakfast and preparing guests for the day.

  • Serve breakfast to guests
  • Help maintain a friendly and calm environment
  • Help guests prepare for the day
  • Help clear up sleeping area and kitchen

Help our Guests in Other Ways

cook or collect meals or contribute food

  • Make a meal for our guests at your home
  • Collect provisions for meals and deliver to KAP
  • Donate provisions for meals

Our Food Co-ordinator will manage menus. We have every meal covered so thank you to our supporters. We are no longer seeking meal supplies.


  • To ensure that sleeping area is clean and tidy
  • Check laundry
  • Organise pick up/drop off from laundry service once a week

Interested in Volunteering?

Please complete this simple form to let us know which volunteer role at the Winter Night Shelter that you would be interested in. This is simply an expression of interest at this stage.

Once you’ve submitted your interest to volunteer at the Winter Night Shelter, Liz, our volunteer co-ordinator will be in touch.

FAQs - Winter Night Shelter Volunteers

Ideally, we would like it if people could commit to a regular shift slot, for ease of management of the evenings. However, there are alternative volunteering opportunities possible, like cooking for an evening, or shopping for an evening etc.

The exact number is difficult to predict but we anticipate around 20 guests per night. 

We will ask the team to arrive at 7pm to assist in preparation of the evening. Doors will open at 7.30pm, and hot food and drinks will be served from that point. Throughout the evening, volunteers will be asked to assist in food and drinks serving, general hospitality, conversation, and playing games to build relationships and community with the clients. We will expect the clients to be going to bed by 11pm. Breakfasts will be offered from 7.30a.m until 8.30a.m. when we will ask the clients to leave, as the building will need to be in use for normal daytime activities.

Experience would be beneficial with this client group or similar, but not essential.  An understanding of the complexities of supporting vulnerable and potentially un-predictable people would be helpful.

Please don’t let that put you off as training is provided and you have a shift manager for support. It’s being compassionate, friendly, and hospitable that’s important. You would need to have an ability to maintain a sense of calm in a room, and remain calm yourself should an incident occur. 

Yes, we will be offering training to all staff and volunteers prior to the Winter NS opening.

If you would find it helpful, you can park behind one of the 3 properties on Harpur Street (12 spaces) during your volunteer shift.

There are lots of ways to help us support the rough sleepers this winter. There are opportunities to make a meal for an evening, pray for us and the clients, donate food, clothing, or finances.

If you have a gift in housekeeping, we would love your help to return the building back to its daytime use every day!

You could also support us by sharing our social media posts to increase community awareness, and potentially community involvement.