Do you want to be part of a resettlement programme by helping newly arrived refugees gain self-confidence 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?
Refugee Resettlement involves the selection and transfer of refugees from a country in which they have sought protection to a third country which has agreed to admit them as refugees where they can rebuild their lives.
Under the UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS), the UK offers a safe and legal route to vulnerable refugees in need of protection.
The Afghan Relocations Scheme (ACRS) is the resettlement schemes specifically for Afghans and, under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP), Afghan citizens who were directly employed by, or contracted to, the UK Government Department are selected for relocation to the UK if deemed eligible for it.
The Homes for Ukraine scheme is the government scheme to provide accommodation, through local housing placements, to Ukrainians.
Refugee Action helps individuals and families that arrive through the above-mentioned programmes to settle into their own homes and communities. Support is provided to access services such as health (for example GP registration, booking appointments), benefits, education, specialist employment support, volunteering, legal provision and to link with other local voluntary and statutory services.
Our clients are largely former or current Locally Employed Staff in Afghanistan, and Ukrainians through the Homes for Ukraine scheme, and are new to Refugee Action. English language acquisition is vital for their resettlement and integration and therefore we need volunteers to help them practice their English out in their communities and in everyday settings.
The one-to-one sessions with clients could take place in the clients’ home, in a public place, or by going on local visits.
English Practice volunteers work with clients for an agreed period, generally 8 weeks maximum which includes a session each week.
What are the main tasks?
- Helping clients practice their English based on identified learning goals. Specific learning goals may include helping them to recognise and understand letters, practicing making appointments and giving personal details over the phone, reading newspapers together.
- Helping clients practice what they may have learnt in the classroom.
- Helping clients with any homework they may have.
- Referring wider issues back to the relevant Resettlement Worker.
- Producing accurate records of contact meetings and sharing them with the Resettlement Worker.
Where would I be based?
You will deliver English Practice sessions either at a client’s home or in an agreed public place. A risk assessment will be carried out on each setting before a volunteer starts.
Clients live across Liverpool. To deliver this role, you must be able to easily travel within this area. Refugee Action also has an office in Manchester, and you may be asked to attend occasional meetings there. Your travel expenses would be covered.
The normal method of transport for volunteers is by public transport, for which you will be reimbursed. However, if for any reason it is difficult for you to use public transport, or you consider it unsafe to do so, please discuss this before starting. It is possible for volunteers to use their own transport if either of these apply providing this has been discussed and agreed beforehand.
What is the time commitment?
- We ask that volunteers commit to the role for at least 6 months.
- You will need to be able to attend an initial induction and initial training session before starting.
- Being able to run an English Practice session each week for a maximum of 8 weeks.
Ideally, the sessions will run concurrently to aid the client’s learning. However, we do recognise that this is not always possible, and we are understanding of this. It is important, therefore, that you communicate to us any changes you might need to make.
English practice sessions are held during the working week, from Monday to Friday, to ensure that a Refugee Action staff member is always available for help if needed. Sessions last for one hour, starting any time after 9.30am and finishing no later than 4.30pm.
Please factor in time to plan a lesson and the writing up of contact notes – an hour for each is often sufficient. Also, please allow time to travel and to and from the session. This can often take a couple of hours. Volunteers generally use public transport unless there are reasons why this is not practical.
Given this, it is good to commit one specific day each week towards English Practice volunteering.
Will I receive training and support?
You will receive induction training which includes a general introduction to Refugee Action and training specific to the role of English Practice volunteer.
Training on keeping clients and yourself safe.
The training provided is one of the reasons we ask for an ongoing commitment of six months.
We will also offer you;
- Regular support and supervision through an appointed supervisor.
- Group peer supervision
- Invitations to Refugee Action’s Staff and Volunteer meetings, annual conference and any social & information events that might be happening.
- Opportunities to support Refugee Action in fundraising events and public appeals.
- Appropriate insurance cover.
- A reference for work or study.
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.
What skills are we looking for?
- Understanding of, and commitment to, the needs of asylum seekers, refugees and other displaced people.
- Interest in working with people from different cultures.
- Commitment to the principles of empowerment and independence.
- Willingness to work to the principles of equal opportunities and confidentiality.
- Ability to communicate in an accurate, brief, clear and positive manner.
- Knowledge of languages such as Pashtu, Dari, Turkmen, Kazak, Uzbek, Arabic is helpful but not
- Punctuality and reliability, with the ability to journey plan and arrive at appointments on time.
- Basic IT skills, (ability to type and send word documents by email).
- Good verbal and written communication in English, (i.e. to help a client practice their English with confidence, and to be able to communicate with people of different backgrounds in a variety of settings).
- Ability to source and use appropriate learning materials.
- Whist ESOL or teaching experience is helpful, it is not required.
Please note that initial training will be provided in a number of these areas.
References and Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Check
We ask for two references from all our volunteers.
The role also requires a Basic level DBS Check. Having a criminal record will not stop us from considering your application to volunteer. We will consider every applicant and their circumstances carefully.
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.
How do I apply?
Please register your interest online at www.refugee-action.org.uk/volunteer