Befriender - Northallerton or Richmond
with Refugee council
The Refugee Council is one of the leading organisations in the UK working with refugees and people seeking asylum. We not only give help and support, but also work with clients to ensure their needs and concerns are voiced and addressed. The Resettlement Team provides advice and support for resettled refugees to help them access services and mainstream provision, and establish community links. 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:
• Practicing 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
Volunteers will have the opportunity to be flexible and creative about when they meet and the activities that they undertake and to adapt these to the refugees needs.
*** All activities are currently home based and virtual due to Covid-19 restrictions
• 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