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Greater Manchester Welcome Project Volunteer Role

Do you want to be part of a team that helps asylum seekers to take control of their asylum journey and use your skills to support them to feel more welcome, integrated and knowledgeable?

What is the role?

As a Greater Manchester Welcome Project volunteer, you will help to facilitate and deliver group information sessions to people seeking asylum who are accommodated in contingency hotels throughout Greater Manchester. This is to help increase their understanding of the asylum process, so they are empowered to avoid the pitfalls and destitution traps that are embedded in the system.

We are particularly interested in volunteers with lived experience of the asylum process. Refugee Action recognises the vast experience that people in the asylum system come to the UK with and yet are often stopped from using their skills and interests due to the restrictions regarding the right to work placed on them.

What is the time commitment?

  • You’ll need to be available to complete 5 days of training before starting in the role
  • After training and induction, we usually request a minimum commitment of one half a day per week.
  • Refugee Action volunteers commit to the service for at least 6 months.

Will I receive training and support?

All Refugee Action volunteers can expect to receive:

  • An introduction to the work of Refugee Action
  • Training on the asylum system, the volunteer role, and safeguarding;
  • On-going support from the Asylum Crisis Project Co-ordinator;
  • Supervision by Asylum Crisis Project Co-ordinator on all sites working with clients
  • Reasonable expenses to cover travel and other incurred expenses
  • The opportunity to attend various training and skill share sessions open to Refugee Action staff and volunteers
  • An opportunity to meet with other volunteers for peer support
  • An invitation to attend Refugee Action Staff and Volunteer Meetings and to other events

Will I receive expenses?

Refugee Action volunteers are not left out of pocket because of volunteering with us. If you are volunteering away from your home, we will pay reasonable travel, drink, and meal expenses as per our agreed rates. If the provision of IT equipment is required, this will be discussed with each volunteer, and the agreed costs met by us.

Where would I be based?

To undertake this role, you will need to live in commutable distance to Greater Manchester and be able to travel locally.

The sessions will be delivered across different asylum hotels throughout Greater Manchester and some volunteering may also be based out of Refugee Action’s office in Hulme.

What are the main duties?

  • Attend regular sessions at the hotels and supporting Refugee Action staff in effectively running a group session to provide information and welcome to attendees, empowering clients and promoting their independence through:
    • Helping to set up on the day and welcome attendees
    • Dealing with any queries or issues attendees may have on the day
    • Helping to recruit attendees
    • Facilitating group discussions
    • Bilingual volunteers only: Interpreting the briefing information into attendees’ own languages
    • Referring and signposting service users to other appropriate sources of assistance or social inclusion where possible
    • Gathering and recording feedback for project evaluation.
  • Help continually shape the project through participation in ongoing reflection and feedback including in team meetings and one-on-one meetings with the project co-ordinator.
  • Follow Refugee Action policies and guidelines and maintain professional boundaries

What skills are we looking for?

We are looking for volunteers from a variety of backgrounds that have the following skills:

  • Good interpersonal skills and a friendly cheerful manner
  • Ability to communicate in an accurate, brief and clear manner
  • Ability to support people in emotionally demanding situations
  • Punctuality and reliability
  • Good English language skills
  • Willingness to develop new knowledge and skills
  • Understanding of and commitment to the needs of refugees and asylum seekers
  • A positive approach to working in a multi-cultural and multi-racial setting;
  • A basic understanding of and commitment to principles of equal opportunities and confidentiality.

For this role, we are also particularly keen to recruit:

  • People with lived experience of the asylum system and wanting to share techniques and experience of how best to navigate the asylum system
  • Those with fluency in Arabic, Pashto, Tigrinya, Kurdish Sorani, Urdu, Amharic, and Farsi. Other languages may be useful and will be considered too!

We ask for 2 references and possible DBS check. For those with lived experience of the asylum system we can provide additional support and advice around these requirements.

How do I apply?

Please express your interest by contacting the Project Coordinator via email;,  by phone 07929769420 or register your interest online at


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

Those with lived experience as a refugee or person seeking asylum are strongly encouraged to apply.

Apply now