Do you want to be part of a team that is working to prevent homelessness amongst asylum seekers? Do you want to gain experience in a fast-paced advice setting?
What is the role?
Refugee Action Asylum Crisis West Midlands Project is assisting clients who would otherwise be destitute with applications for asylum support (accommodation and financial support from the Home Office).
This may be by helping clients to make applications, respond to Home Office reviews of their support, or appeal against refusals or ending of support.
As an Asylum Crisis West Midlands Project Volunteer, you will work alongside the Asylum Crisis West Midlands Project Co-ordinator, providing specialist advice to our clients around destitution issues- including rights and entitlements. Through this role you will develop effective casework and advocacy skills as well as building knowledge around support legislation for asylum seekers and migrants who have no recourse to public funds.
What is the time commitment?
- We’d expect you to commit to a minimum of a day a week – either1 full day or two days of volunteering per week (Asylum Crisis Project is open Mon-Friday 9.30 am-4.30 pm)
- You will ideally commit between 6 months and 1 year, due to the duration of training provided
- A number of initial training sessions
- We expect commitment, punctuality and reliability from all of our volunteers
Will I receive training and support?
You will receive comprehensive training, including on the asylum system, asylum support entitlements, processes & rules; asylum support appeals, casework & advocacy skills, using interpreters, confidentiality & boundaries.
We will also offer you:
- Opportunities to further develop your skills & support Refugee Action in fundraising events, public appeals & awareness raising
- Opportunities to influence public policy by contributing data and case studies
- Regular support and supervision
- Re-imbursement of expenses, including travel costs and meal allowances
- Invitations to Refugee Action annual conference, Volunteer Days, Team Meetings, other social & information events
- Appropriate insurance cover
- A reference for work or study
Where would I be based?
You will be based at St. Peters Centre in Coventry where we will provide Outreach service on Friday’s from 10am-4pm.
What are the main duties?
- Provide accurate, confidential, non-directive advice to asylum seekers and migrants over the phone and face to face
- Make assessments of client needs and vulnerabilities with regard to destitution issues (in the office or community) and identify potential eligibility for support and services
- Complete support application forms and appeals
- Refer/signpost to our project partners for further advice and assistance as appropriate
- Complete referrals/signpost to Social Services for vulnerable individuals and families
- Complete referrals/signpost to various destitution services such as day centres, food banks, NRPF night shelters
- Contact the Home Office, solicitors, medical professionals & support groups to pursue clients’ access to their rights and entitlements
- Keep accurate case records of advice given & action taken
- Complete service monitoring
- Keep up to date with asylum support changes and community care legislation (information and training will be provided)
What skills are we looking for?
- Reliability and punctuality
- Basic understanding of confidentiality and the value of independent and impartial advice
- A positive approach to working in a multi-cultural and multi-racial setting
- Ability to read & write English
- Basic IT skills
- Ability to understand, communicate and simplify complex information to clients who speak English to differing degrees
- Ability to negotiate with other agencies in order to represent the needs of clients
- Ability to cope with emotionally demanding situations and maintain boundaries with clients who may be vulnerable
- Be prepared to talk to clients about difficult issues, including receiving negative Home Office decisions
- We ask for two references from all our volunteers. This role also requires a DBS (criminal records) check at standard level
How do I apply?
Please register your interest by email to BernaD@refugee-action.org.uk The deadline for the express of the interest is 25 July 2019.
You will be required to attend a compulsory Information session (date to be confirmed).
We are committed to making every reasonable adjustment to the workplace or working arrangements so as to accommodate people with disabilities.