Our clients are refugees who have arrived to live in Greater Manchester from refugee camps & urban settings where they may have lived for some years. The Arrivals aspect of the role is to provide assistance to an individual or household group of newly arrived resettled refugees for their first week in the UK.
The Advocate element of the role is to support clients to carry out specific tasks as part of their on-going resettlement. These tasks will be directed by the Gateway Staff Team. The role involves providing local orientation to refugees within the boroughs of Greater Manchester and supporting them to use local services.
What will you do?
Following instructions in a resource pack, you may carry out one or all of the following tasks:
- Meet a group of clients at the airport
- Introduce a client / family to members of their local council’s Asylum Team for their accommodation briefing and tenancy agreement
- Explain Refugee Action’s service
- Help clients find their way around, e.g. show them the local shop and how to use British currency, provide a town tour identifying useful shops and services, etc.
- Assist clients to complete benefits forms / accompany them to their first Job Centre appointment
- Assist clients to register with a GP
Follow instructions outlined on the Advocate Booking Form to support clients with specific tasks. This could include:
- Accompanying clients to appointments, e.g. bank, Citizens’ Advice Bureau
- Going with clients to collect forms, e.g. driving licence
- Assisting clients to make phone calls for themselves and intervening if necessary, e.g. making a doctor’s appointment
- Helping clients find their way around, e.g. teaching them to map read or showing them the route to a particular place
- Assisting clients to open a bank account
- Supporting clients through regular group sessions
Both parts of the role
- Using interpreters when working with some clients (training will be provided)
- Referring any wider issues or concerns back to the relevant Refugee Action staff member
- Keeping accurate records of contact meetings
What are we looking for?
- Understanding of and commitment to the needs of asylum seekers and refugees
- Reliable and organised volunteers, with the ability to journey plan and arrive at appointments on time
- Basic IT skills (i.e. the ability to type and send Word documents by email)
- Ability to use own initiative and work flexibly within a given framework
- A basic understanding of and commitment to principles of equal opportunities and confidentiality
- A commitment to working to the principles of empowerment and independence
- Ability to communicate in an accurate, brief and clear manner
- Good written and verbal communication in English (i.e. to be able to fill in forms and to communicate effectively, confidently and assertively with organisations)
- Ability to work with people from different cultures and backgrounds
- Ability to support clients in emotionally demanding situations (mainly during arrivals weeks)
Time Required & Other Expectations of Volunteers
Volunteers attend induction and role specific training, totalling two full days. Volunteers will be invited to other training events as required. You must attend induction on Wed the 20th of Feb 2019 and Role specific training on Thursday the 21st of Feb 2019
Volunteers ideally will be available for a minimum of 1 day per week (the same day each week, Mon – Fri). This does not include arrivals briefings – short meetings in the week prior to an arrival taking place (approx. 15-30 mins). If necessary, the information from this briefing can be communicated via other methods.
Volunteers participate in one to one supervisions in order to maintain quality, consistency and support across the service (approx. 1 hour per 6 – 8 weeks) and monthly group supervision (approx. 2 hours per session). Group supervision sessions are usually a mixture of day times and evenings.
Length of Commitment
A minimum commitment to the programme of 12 months from the point of application would be ideal (the process of induction, training and DBS clearance may take up to two months).
What support will you get?
- Regular one to one and group supervision (including training) meetings, see ‘expectations’ above
- Travel expenses from within Greater Manchester
- Volunteers will shadow and be observed by a Lead Person during arrivals weeks before carrying out the tasks themselves
Training will be held in Hulme, Manchester. Clients are housed in Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Stockport and Tameside. Volunteers are required to travel to these boroughs to carry out client appointments/tasks.
Please note applicants will be DBS checked and must be 18 years or older. Current Gateway clients are not eligible to apply. Refugee Action welcomes applications from Asylum Seekers.
We ask for two references from all our volunteers. This role also requires a DBS (criminal record) check at enhanced level.