Do you want to gain casework experience in an advice and outreach setting?
Do you want to be part of a team that is working to promote greater understanding of refugees and the issues affecting them and build a movement that welcomes all refugees and asylum seekers?
Refugee Action and Resettlement
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), housing, benefits, education, specialist employment support, volunteering, legal provision and to link with other local voluntary and statutory services.
What is the role?
The Arrivals aspect of the role provides assistance to refugees and other new arrivals in their first weeks in the UK.
The Advocacy element of the role is to support individuals or household groups to carry out specific tasks as part of their ongoing resettlement. These tasks will be directed by the Resettlement Team. The role involves providing local orientation to newly arrived refugees and supporting them to use or navigate public transport and access local services in their local areas, currently within Liverpool.
Support offered to refugees may be delivered remotely or face to face.
What are the main tasks?
You will follow instructions in a resource pack and could carry out any of the following tasks:
- Meeting clients at either or the airport and their allocated address.
- Introducing clients and families to their Housing Provider for their accommodation briefing and tenancy agreement meeting.
- Explaining the local facilities to clients and, in some cases, providing a local and city tour.
- Explaining Refugee Action’s service.
- Helping clients to understand and use British currency.
- Providing budgeting support and information.
- Assisting clients to complete benefits forms and accompanying them to their first Job Centre Plus appointment.
- Assisting clients to register with a GP.
Advocacy tasks include any of the following.
- Accompanying clients to a wide variety of appointments.
- Accompanying clients to collect forms and documents.
- Encouraging and assisting clients to make phone calls for themselves and having direct conversations, such as making a doctor’s appointment.
- Helping clients to feel comfortable in travelling and making their own way around.
- Assisting clients to open a bank account.
- Supporting clients with their digital skills, such as using the internet, emails, and doing simple things online which allows them to access key services and opportunities. To give examples, booking GP appointments online, using google maps and engaging with a universal credit account.
By supporting clients with the above tasks, the aim is to increase people’s skills and confidence in different areas which enables greater independence.
The following apply to both the Arrivals and Advocacy parts of the role.
- Using interpreters when working with some clients.
- Referring any wider issues or concerns, including safeguarding, back to the relevant Refugee Action staff member.
- Keeping accurate records of contact meetings and submitting these to the Resettlement team
Where will I be based?
As a volunteer, you will be undertaking face to face tasks with clients across one or more of the areas of service delivery, currently Liverpool. To undertake this role, you will need to live in commutable distance to Liverpool and be able to travel locally.
Some of the tasks can be done remotely from home in line with Refugee’s Action remote working practice.
The nearest Refugee Action office is in Manchester, and you may be asked to attend meetings there occasionally. 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 you commit to one full day a week between Monday- Friday, 9.30 am – 4.30 pm on a specifically agreed day. During your volunteering day, you might support newly arrived people remotely or in person.
- You will be required to attend an induction programme which comprises of at least two days. This will be online via Zoom. There will be opportunities to attend further training that will support your role as a volunteer. Whilst most of this is not mandatory, it is good to allow time to attend further training when you can do so to develop the skills and knowledge required for the role. Consideration is always given to the fact that volunteers have other commitments.
- We ask that Refugee Action volunteers commit to the role for at least 6 months.
Will I receive training and support?
All Refugee Action volunteers can expect to receive:
- An initial induction
- Training on keeping clients and yourself safe
- The opportunity to attend various training and skill share sessions open to Refugee Action staff and volunteers
- Ongoing support from a Volunteer Supervisor and other project staff.
- 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.
What skills are we looking for?
- Understanding of and commitment to the needs of vulnerable refugees and other displaced people.
- Ability to work with people from a range of different cultures.
- Ability to communicate in an accurate, brief and clear manner.
- Ability to support clients in emotionally demanding situations, including those who have recently arrived.
- Ability to work with interpreters.
- Punctuality and reliability.
- Basic IT skills.
- Ability to record information accurately.
- Ability to speak English to a good level.
- Willingness to develop new knowledge and skills.
- Willingness to volunteer remotely, including contacting newly arrived people via phone or video call, and to meet face to face with families in their homes and the community.
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
Thank you for your interest in supporting our work.