Health Befriending Network
The Health Befriending Network is a Refugee Council project funded by The Department of Health – Health and Social Care Volunteering Fund – in order to deliver a volunteer befriending scheme for refugees and asylum seekers to help them access health and social care services.
The aims of the HBN are:
- To enable refugees and asylum seekers to understand their entitlements to health and social care
- To enable refugees and asylum seekers to access health and social care in a timely and appropriate manner
- To help refugees and asylum seekers experience less isolation by establishing contact with local communities, thus improving health and well being.
- To provide practical and emotional support for clients, with physical and mental health issues, mainly on a one to one basis but occasionally in a support group setting.
We are looking for dedicated and inspiring people to get involved with our project as volunteer befrienders.
What do we offer?
For our Volunteers
- Experience of working with people from other cultures and helping them exercise their basic rights to health and social care services.
- Experience of working within a professional context and being part of a professional team.
- Valuable work experience within the Refugee Council in support and advocacy to vulnerable people and in-depth knowledge of public services.
- A comprehensive induction and training programme to enable you to develop your appropriate skills.
- On-going training and development
- Networking opportunities with professionals within the organisation and across the sector
For our Service Users
- Through our voluntary befrienders we provide support to access different health services, such as liaising with GPs, hospitals, dentists and other health care providers;
- Support to access appropriate social care services;
- Support to find and access refugee community organisations that are providing similar health and social care services;
- Advocating on behalf of refugees and asylum seekers to ensure that they receive the health and social care services which they are entitled to;
- Accompanying refugees and asylum seekers to medical appointments and advocating on their behalf where necessary;
- Support to access mental health and emotional support services where needed;
- Social support and help to access adult education, such as ESOL classes to improve their confidence and independence.