Gateway Language and Group Work Volunteer – Greater Manchester

Do you want to be part of a resettlement programme by helping newly arrived refugees gain social networks and improve their English? Do you want to be part of a team that is working to build a movement for change for refugees and asylum seekers?

What is the role?

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 role is to plan and deliver a programme of English learning, ‘Welcome’ and ‘Social & Relationships’ group sessions for Gateway clients. These tasks will be overseen by the Language and Group Work Co-ordinators. The role offers experience in event planning, presentation and facilitation skills.

What is the time commitment?

  • Training: Volunteers are required to attend the following training sessions: Induction Training on Thursday 16 May (full day), English Practice Training and Group Work Training during the week commencing 20 May (both full days). Volunteers will also shadow a session and learn skills while undertaking their volunteering role.
  • Volunteering Hours: We would ideally like volunteers who can commit to 1 day per week. Involvement in group events take a full day, including setting up and a de-brief meeting afterwards. Some weeks may be office based as we also ask volunteers to participate in regular planning and preparation for the sessions.
  • We would ideally like people to be able to volunteer for at least 12 months.
  • Supervision: Volunteers engage in one-to-one and group support and supervision sessions to maintain quality, consistency and support across the service (approx. 1 hr per 8-10 weeks).

Will I receive training and support?

All Refugee Action volunteers will receive:

  • Induction and training
  • You will be able to observe a group session before starting the role
  • Regular support meetings with a volunteer supervisor
  • Reasonable expenses to cover travel and lunch
  • Ongoing group supervision meetings, training and support

Where would I be based?

  • Training and meetings will be held in at our office in Hulme, Manchester
  • Tasks will be with groups of clients across Greater Manchester
  • Volunteers must be able to make their own travel arrangements to boroughs across Greater Manchester (Bury, Bolton, Stockport, Tameside and Oldham)

What will you do?

  • Attend and contribute to planning meetings at Refugee Action’s Manchester office
  • Take responsibility for a range of preparation tasks. These may include buying refreshments, collecting training equipment, arranging petty cash for client expenses, copying hand outs, booking interpreters, analysing risks, etc.
  • Escort clients from the bus station or an agreed meeting point to the session venue. This may be carried out by a volunteer on their own with the support of a member of staff who co-ordinates the escorting from another venue
  • Facilitate some of the English language learning and group work, using interpreters, when appropriate
  • Debrief with the event planning team to help improve future sessions
  • Receive training, support and guidance to allow you to lead on organising English learning and group work sessions
  • The role may include scope for developing other group based activities using a community development approach
  • Handling petty cash

What skills are we looking for?

  • Reliable and organised volunteers
  • Good written and verbal communication in English, e.g. to give information to groups, to take part in planning sessions and to help clients practice their English with confidence
  • Experience of communicating confidently in a group setting
  • Experience of facilitating group work and delivering presentations. ESOL or teaching experience is helpful, but not required
  • Respect for clients’ personal information
  • Understanding of and commitment to the needs of refugees and asylum seekers
  • Ability to work with people from different cultures and organisations

We are committed to making every reasonable adjustment to the workplace or working arrangements to accommodate people with disabilities.

We ask for two references from all our volunteers. This role also requires a DBS (criminal records) check at enhanced level. Applicants must be 18 years or older. Current Gateway clients are not eligible to apply. Refugee Action welcomes applications from asylum seekers and refugees



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