Why Volunteer at Refugee Action?

Volunteering with Refugee Action puts you at the heart of our work. There are a range of ways you can help, from making refugees welcome in their new communities to helping us in our offices.

Volunteers are involved in all our teams and in every service we run. They bring a huge wealth of experience to what we do and come from a broad range of backgrounds, life experiences and ages.

What is it like to volunteer at Refugee Action?

Volunteering with Refugee Action offers excellent opportunities to make new friends while supporting refugees and asylum seekers in the UK. It can also help you to develop your skills and experience.

In a survey of our volunteers, 100% replied that they would recommend volunteering with Refugee Action to other people. Here’s what else they said:

If you want to be part of a team that is inspiring and very good at what it does, then think about volunteering at Refugee Action.

Volunteering at Refugee Action has had a positive effect on me. Not only has it increased my knowledge about refugees and asylum seekers, it has improved my leadership. I have been able to develop my civic skills, such as improving my ability to organise events, and I have met many new people. More importantly it has boosted my confidence.

Well run organisation, good friendly team. Good opportunities.

I would definitely recommend volunteering with Refugee Action. It has provided me with a greater understanding into the struggles and processes that refugees face on a day to day basis. This has been priceless.

It feels great to help refugees who have left all their belongings, family memories and friends behind to build new lives.

The thing I most enjoy about volunteering is the mental and social stimulation and the sense of purpose. It’s great to meet people from all over the world.

Things to consider before applying to for a volunteer role

  • Most volunteering opportunities require a (part time) minimum time commitment of six months. If the time is less than six months clearly stated in the volunteer role description
  • Some of our roles require a DBS check (formally known as a CRB check), to work with vulnerable people we support.  Refugee Action will help you fill in the application.
  • Many volunteering opportunities are available to people who are improving their English, but some roles may require a high level of English or existing IT or digital skills.
  • Most (but not all) volunteer opportunities require availability during office hours.

In return, here’s what you’ll receive from Refugee Action:

  • For roles that require working with refugees and asylum seekers, you will receive Comprehensive basic training that may include refugee awareness, working with people from different cultures, confidentiality and boundaries, safeguarding and working with interpreters.
  • On-going project training and development
  • Regular support and supervision sessions
  • Reasonable travel expenses and lunch where appropriate
  • Access to our Refugee Action well-being and development resources

If you have other questions about volunteering with Refugee Action, please contact us. If you’re not sure volunteering is for you, don’t worry – there are lots others ways you can help refugees.

Can Asylum Seekers in the UK volunteer?

In 2013, Refugee Action successfully campaigned for the Home Office to change its official guidance on volunteering, so that asylum seekers were allowed to volunteer, including within the public and charity sectors. Many asylum seekers have a huge wealth of skills and knowledge that could benefit their local communities.

You can find the current guidance on asylum seeker volunteering on the Home Office website it details that:

  • There is now a clear difference between volunteering and voluntary work. Volunteering is non-obligation, without payment except for the reimbursement of reasonable out of pocket expenses.
  • Undertaking volunteering is lawful, including for refused asylum seekers
  • Volunteering for public sector organisations is now permitted as well as for charities and fundraising bodies.

If you need further guidance about volunteering for asylum seekers, or if you are an asylum seeker who has been excluded from volunteering, please contact us.

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