Do you want to get experience of supporting people in the community? Do you want to be part of a team that is helping refugees to rebuild their lives? Do you want to help us build a future that welcomes all refugees and asylum seekers?
What is the role?
Our clients are Syrian refugees who have come to live in West Midlands, including Staffordshire. The Arrivals part of the role is to help an individual or family of refugees for their first week in the UK. The Advocate part of the role is to help clients to carry out tasks as they learn start to settle into the UK.
These tasks will be given to you by the staff of the Resettlement Team. The role also asks you to support the clients to find their way around their local area, use public transport and local services. For this role, you will be asked to write clear notes of the meetings that you had with the clients and quickly give them to paid staff.
How much time can I give?
- You will need to be free for an Introduction to Refugee Action training day and 2 training days on what you will be doing. This training will be in our Birmingham Office (see below for dates)
- We ask that you volunteer at least one day a week (Monday- Friday) and that you volunteer for the whole day from 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
- During arrivals weeks, we might need you earlier and/or later in the day
- We ask that you agree to volunteer with us for 6 months or more
Will I have training and support?
All Refugee Action volunteers will have:
- Introduction to Refugee Action training, and training on what you will be doing
- Regular support from a paid staff member
- Expenses to cover travel and lunch
Where would I be volunteering?
We ask you to travel across Staffordshire and to use public transport when travelling with clients. To meet the paid staff or other volunteers, you will be asked to go to Refugee Action’s office in the area. You will need to attend an Introduction to Refugee Action training day and 2 training days on what you will be doing. This training will be in our Birmingham Office (see below for dates). Sometimes you may also choose to attend meetings at our office in Birmingham.
What are the main duties?
Following written instructions, you will be asked to do some of these:
- Meet a group of clients at the airport
- Introduce the clients to their landlord who will tell them about their new home and responsibilities
- Show clients how to find their way around the local shops and the nearest city or large town
- Explain Refugee Action’s service
- Help clients to use British money and talk about how to manage their money carefully
- Help clients to complete benefits forms and go with them to their first Job Centre appointment
- Help clients to register with a Doctor
You will be asked to some of these:
- Go with clients to appointments, like an opticians or Citizens’ Advice Bureau
- Help clients to open a bank account
- Go with clients to collect forms, like a driving licence form from the Post Office
- Help clients to make phone calls, but not doing it for them
- Help clients find their way around, showing them how to get somewhere or to use maps
For Arrivals and Advocate:
- You may be using interpreters when working with some clients
- Telling the staff member if there are things worrying you or that still need sorting out
- Writing down what happened in the meeting and quickly giving it to the staff member
What things do you need to do this role?
- To understand about the needs of vulnerable refugees and other displaced people
- To be prepared to help refugees
- To be able to get along with people from different cultures
- To be able to speak and write in a clear way
- To be able to support people who may be upset, angry or confused
- If you speak or write Arabic this would be helpful but is not essential
- To be on time and turn up when you say you will
- To work with interpreters
- To be able to write up your notes on a computer and to use email
- To be able to write up your notes saying what happened in the meeting
- To be able to speak English to an intermediate level
- Would like to learn new skills and new information
We ask for 2 references from all our volunteers. This role also needs a criminal record check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) at a high (enhanced) level.
How do I apply?
Please follow the links on this page to the application form.
You will need to attend:
• An Initial Meeting (around 1 hour) at our Burton office in Staffordshire on Friday 8th February or Thursday 14th February (we will contact you in late Jan/early Feb to book an appointment).
• Introduction to Refugee Action and Volunteering Training on Tuesday 26th February 2019, 10am – 4pm at our office in Birmingham
• Arrivals Training on Tuesday 5th March 2019, 10am – 4pm at our office in Birmingham
• Advocate Training on Tuesday 26th March 2019, 10am – 4pm at our office in Birmingham
We will do our best to make changes to the tasks and locations involved in volunteering so that people with disabilities can volunteer with us.
This advert may be closed before the deadline if we receive a high number of applications, so please apply as soon as you can.
Please note applicants must be 18 years or older. Refugee Action welcomes applications from asylum seekers and refugees.