Welcome Guide Volunteer - Refugee Council

Welcome Guide Volunteer

About the Refugee Council

Founded in 1951, the Refugee Council exists to support people who come to the UK in need of safety and our purpose is to advocate with them for compassion, fairness and kindness. We achieve this by providing expert advice and casework, building the capacity of refugee community organisations, and working with allies across society to change government policy.

The Refugee Council is one of the leading organisations in the UK working with refugees and people seeking asylum.

Learn more about the Refugee Council here

About the Hotel Project

The Hotel Team forms part of the Asylum Directorate at Refugee Council and provides holistic support for clients seeking asylum in contingency accommodation, from practical support to assisting them on their asylum journey, basic aid support, opportunities to learn English to advocating for their wellbeing through a number of different activities and mediums.

Volunteers supporting the project work with the Volunteer Coordinator and Hotel Support Workers in achieving the team’s aim of supporting clients seeking asylum.

For nearly two years, Mears (the contract holder for delivery of asylum dispersal accommodation) have been placing newly arrived asylum seekers in a number of hotels across the Yorkshire and Humber region. This was initially in response to a shortage of dispersed accommodation at the turn of the year.

Since the emergence of the COVID-19 crisis and the resulting pause on people being evicted from their asylum accommodation, hotel use has continued to increase in the region due to a growing lack of available accommodation for new arrivals claiming asylum.

The NET Contingency Accommodation Project has been engaging with residents in hotels in Wakefield and Leeds, Rotherham, Sheffield and Hull, delivering health briefings, English conversation, art therapy and wellbeing sessions in addition to arranging donations of clothing and other items.

About this role

Time commitment 3-4 hours a week in Northallerton (hours can be flexible according to the demands of the project)

Main role Welcoming and guiding clients around the local area and offering support for clients to engage with local educational and volunteering opportunities.

Main responsibilities

  • Planning and conducting in person tours of the clients’ local area, describing important landmarks to help navigate people around the new area e.g. doctors, pharmacists , local parks and conservation area, libraries, free cultural opportunities such as museums, and local public transport stops.
  • Attending monthly virtual peer support meetings
  • Working with, and reporting back to, the Volunteer Coordinator
  • Working with other volunteers to conduct the tours, as necessary
  • Occasionally supporting events and activities, such as trips and days out
  • Keeping a register of attendees and a record of volunteer hours

You can learn more about this role by downloading our task description here [DOC].

Interested? Contact Katie Oliver (Volunteer Coordinator for the Hotel Project) at HH.volunteering@refugeecouncil.org.uk for more information.