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:
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 people seeking asylum volunteer in the UK ?
In 2013, Refugee Action successfully campaigned for the Home Office to change its official guidance on volunteering, so that people seeking asylum were allowed to volunteer, including within the public and charity sectors. Many people seeking asylum in the UK have a huge wealth of skills and knowledge that could benefit their local communities.
You can find the current guidance on volunteering on the Home Office website it details that:
- There is now a clear difference between volunteering (also known as voluntary work) and unpaid work. Volunteering is non-obligation, without payment except for the reimbursement of reasonable out of pocket expenses.
- Undertaking volunteering is lawful, including for people who have been refused asylum
- Volunteering for public sector organisations is now permitted as well as for charities and fundraising bodies.
If you need further guidance about volunteering for people seeking asylum, or if you are are currently seeking asylum and have been excluded from volunteering, please contact us.