Volunteers Needed!

Sanctuary in Chichester is a voluntary organisation and we are expanding, so there are lots of aspects of our work we need help with. We are growing so that we can meet the needs of some new refugees and asylum seekers who will be arriving in Chichester in the next couple of months. We’re also developing our existing activity streams and some new ones (e.g. Pathways to Work), so we need an injection of expertise and support.

Here are some specific volunteer roles we are trying to fill, but do feel free to suggest any other areas you might be able to help us with:

English tutors, to teach English to people of various ages, origins and languages. We offer formal English lessons and informal English conversation, as well as home tutoring. This is probably our most important workstream, and our dedicated, hard-working tutors do an incredible job, but we are now up to capacity and badly need to find some new ESOL teachers.

Qualified psychologists & counsellors, to support our service users, some of whom are suffering severe and debilliating trauma. There is no help for asylum seekers with mental health diffiuclties provided by the Government. We do not have any volunteer psychologists or counsellors at present so anyone able to offer regular sessions or even one-off sessions would be very warmly welcomed!

Management positions – we would particularly love to hear from anyone who arrived in the UK as a refugee or immigrant and are now settled, and especially those from Africa and the Middle East.

Pathways to Work:

  • Companies or sole traders that can offer work experience, internships, short-term work or indeed jobs to refugees living locally. (Asylum seekers can work on a voluntary basis; those with refugee status can take formal paid work.)
  • Mentors – whatever sector you work in or have experience of, you may be able to support a refugee into work.
  • Expertise – we’d like to find people with expertise in specific areas of work, e.g. events organising, health & safety and admin, so that we can support our service users to volunteer for us whilst learning how to carry out the work. Refugees and asylum seekers usually have professional experience already, but lack the knowledge of how things work in the UK, and the specific English vocabulary for their sector.

Drop-ins & social:

  • Outings organisers
  • Organisers for drop-in activities
  • External presenters
  • Benefits and Universal Credit advisors

Interpreters & translators – Punjabi, Dari (& Farsi), Pashto, Tigryna, Arabic.

Painters & decorators, to prepare housing for newcomers.

Fundraisers, to join our friendly Fundraising Committee. We meet once a month, and are acheiving great things, so it’s a very rewarding group to be involved in. We’re particularly hoping to find people to help us run fundraising events and source funding for specific projects.

Emergency accommodation, for asylum seekers. We often need to find somewhere for people to stay at short notice, so we aim to build a small database of people willing to help with rooms, in whatever capacity suits the host.

And finally…

Sanctuary in Chichester needs a home! We are exploring possibilities for renting or acquiring a property in Chichester, to provide housing for asylum seekers and an office of SiC. We’re open to discussing various funding solutions and would be pleased to hear from anyone who may have a suitable property or is interested in supporting this venture, financially or otherwise.


Email Gemma Driver on sanctuaryinchichester@gmail.com if you’re interested in volunteering or would like to know more.

 

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