EU Resettlement Network

Volunteering resources from UK

Resettlement volunteering programme British Refugee Council & Refugee Action UK

The UK NGOs Refugee Action and British Refugee Council have developed specific roles and tasks for those individuals acting as volunteers for their organisations within the UK's Gateway Refugee Resettlement Programme, some of which you can find below.

The Refugee Council in the UK runs a national volunteering programme and has a national volunteer policy and support system set up. Volunteers are from various backgrounds and are actively recuited in refugee communities as well. When volunteers enter the programme they receive training such as an induction training, courses on working with families for those working as befriending and language support volunteers or courses on how to work at the drop in center as receptionist or advisor. Refugees who want to become volunteers have to have finished their own support scheme first and are then trained to become professional volunteers rather than just community workers in their own community. This distinction is important because they have lived thorugh the same experiences as the people they will help.

"Working with local volunteers has helped a great deal in creating links with the community and making members understand why refugees have come here and the needs they have. Some refugees share their stories in the communities (e.g. in schools) as part of Talks Team. Others have set up their own RCO and become volunteers to support their own communities but also to educate the local community through performances of traditional dance or songs. Volunteers also run stalls at various events to raise awareness. Many volunteers help with outreach; they accompany refugees to get on local transport to health appointments, legal support etc, a good way of getting confidence finding your way around while practising some English with volunteers, says Community Development & Volunteer Coordinator from the British Refugee Council in Hull."

You can find some pictures of volunteers at work in the photogallery.

All this is made possible through the post of a Community and Volunteer coordinator who has the time and expertise to guide volunteers and the overall programme. Volunteers need sufficient support in order to deliver quality service supporting the refugees. The coordinator has a close working relationship with the case workers and case workers all supervise a number of volunteers.

British Refugee Council - Volunteer Task Descriptions:

Refugee Action – Volunteer Role Outlines