Befriender - Harrogate

The UK government has committed itself to a Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme (VPRS) whereby people fleeing persecution from Syria and other regions are selected and processed in the region of origin and brought to the UK with their status already determined. Under these schemes a specific quota of refugees will be coming to the UK for resettlement. The Resettlement Team provides advice and support for resettled refugees to help them access services and mainstream provision, and establish community links. Working closely with local stakeholders and in partnership with other voluntary sector agencies running similar services across the UK, the Refugee Council resettlement team promotes both the integration and independence of this group. A large aspect of the programme is increasing client’s independence and integration into the local community, and into life in the UK in general.

Volunteers will have the opportunity to support the Resettlement Team by befriending an individual resettled refugee. Volunteers will enable them to become increasingly independent by facilitating integration into the local area. The volunteer will work from the refugees’ home, but has the opportunity to visit places, shop together etc. They will need to plan the sessions accordingly, taking into account the client and their specific needs/interests.

Specifically, the Volunteer Role Includes:

• Practising conversational English
• Researching and informing their befriendee of events, activities and facilities in the local area and help them access these
• Planning and organising weekly visits/sessions
• Accompanying their befriendee to the shops, library, community groups, parent & toddler group, walks etc.
• Working with, and reporting back to, the resettlement team

Skills or experience required?:

• Sensitivity to working in a multi-cultural organisation and the ability to work with colleagues from other cultures
• Good command of spoken and written English
• Good communication and interpersonal skills
• Willingness to empathise and learn about refugee issues
• Ability to research local activities, and plan activities accordingly
• Reliable and trustworthy
• Excellent listening skills and the ability to empathise as well as establish boundaries to avoid emotional over-involvement

You will require?: Criminal Record Check (DBS)
Frequency of opportunity: Ongoing
Can this opportunity be home based?: No
What are the areas of interest?: Befriending & buddying
Type(s) of cause supported: Local community
Where is the opportunity located?: Harrogate
Includes out of pocket expenses?: Yes
How many hours per week is this opportunity?: 1-2 hours a week, days and times may vary
You can volunteer for this opportunity at the following times: