Do you want to be part of a team that supports Syrian refugees to improve their digital skills in Birmingham?
What is the role?
To be part of the Navigator Project, working with Syrian refugees who have resettled in Birmingham. Volunteers will support refugees to use a computer for the first time, get online and improve their confidence with the basics. This will help refugees to feel better connected, less isolated and to improve their well-being and confidence.
What do volunteers do?
Digital Champions support refugees to:
- Learn the basics of computers (switching on, using the mouse and keyboard, searching the internet, sending and receiving email)
- Understand the basics of online safety (guarding against identify theft, phishing and scamming)
- Use the Internet to find out about activities in Birmingham
- Feel more confident accessing online activities such as ESOL or social groups
The role includes:
- Introducing refugees to a range of social media to help them keep in touch with friends and family using Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube
- Supporting refugees to understand the basics of key software (Microsoft Word, etc)
- Helping refugees to set up computer hardware and software
- Advising on the pros and cons of various computer equipment and digital technology (laptops, smartphones, digital tablets, hardware and software etc)
- Offering a friendly and reliable service to all learners, regardless of age, background or ability
- Locating and booking appropriate venues for one-to-one or group activities (libraries, community centres etc)
- Keeping an accurate record of your volunteering activities and sharing this with your volunteer supervisor every month
- Communicating regularly with the Navigator Project team and/or volunteers as appropriate
- Attending volunteer training and supervision (one to one and group)
What is the time commitment?
- Two days’ training
- We’re looking for people who can volunteer for at least 6 months
- One full-day or 2 half-days per week, (Monday to Friday 9.30am – 4.30pm)
- Meeting with refugees for approximately 2 hours each week, for 6-8 weeks
Will I receive training and support?
All Refugee Action volunteers will have:
- An induction and ongoing training
- Support from the Navigator Project team
- Expenses for travel within Birmingham
- I.T equipment will be provided if needed
- Volunteer meetings (group and one-to-one) every 6 – 8 weeks, as part of the role
Where will I volunteer?
Digital Champions will work with learners on a one-to-one basis, face to face initially, with online meetings once refugees have the confidence and skills to engage in online activities independently.
You will meet in a public venue such a library, WiFi enabled café, or community centre.
What skills are we looking for?
We are looking for volunteers who:
- Are confident using a range of digital technologies (smartphones, digital tablets, laptops etc)
- Are confident using social media (Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube etc)
- Can use computers, search the internet and use email confidently
- Can explain technology in a simple, clear way, with good communication skills
- Are patient, friendly & approachable
- Understand what difficulties refugees might have using digital technology
- Understand the importance of treating everyone fairly and are happy to work with people from different cultures
- Understand why it is important to support refugees to do things for themselves
- Are reliable and well-organised
- Are able to keep people’s personal information private/confidential
We particularly welcome volunteers who are:
- English/Arabic speakers
- Refugees and Asylum Seekers who speak English
Coronavirus (COVID – 19) impact
In March 2020 Refugee Action suspended all face-to-face contact with clients, and replaced this with virtual working, using telephone calls, Zoom and Skype.
This volunteer role will entail some remote volunteering, but also some face-to-face volunteering as required. The safety of our staff, volunteers and clients is paramount, therefore, prior to any face-to-face work, Refugee Action will conduct a risk assessment and will ensure that staff, volunteers, and clients have access to PPE, lateral flow tests and are aware of local and national coronavirus guidance.
References and DBS
- We ask for two references from all our volunteers
- This role also requires a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check
- Having a criminal record will not stop us from considering your application to volunteer
- We will consider every applicant and their circumstances carefully
- Applicants for this role must be 18 years old or above