There are many ways to volunteer, and everything counts. If you have a particular skill or profession that you think might be beneficial to the group, please get in touch. If you want to come to meetings and contribute ideas or just listen in a supportive way, then please do. The group is inclusive and welcoming! See below for some ideas about how to join in.
What volunteering can mean
One of our members, Alwyn, recently did an accompanied visit with a young man from the Foyer, who arrived in the UK as a refugee from Afghanistan.
“I was delighted to meet and assist Aamir. He conversed very well in English but he told me that he thought his accent and his writing sometimes let him down. We spoke much about cricket. He has very high hopes for a career in that direction; a top score of 146 he said. I asked him to repeat it! My top score in the past was 72.
He said that he has found the people of Chichester to be very friendly and welcoming after his arduous journey here. He came from Afghanistan via Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Italy and then he spent nine months in the Calais Jungle. He is so optimistic and fun to be with and I hope that he finds a home here in due course.”
(We’ve changed Aamir’s name to protect his identity as a minor.)
Here’s what you could do to volunteer:
- Spend time with refugees and asylum seekers to help improve their language skills and understanding of the UK and equally to learn about their lives and countries.
- Accompany refugees and asylum-seekers on visits and appointments to make social and official interactions easier. This might be a visit to the dentist, doctor, optician or to get a mobile phone fixed for example. Public transport is preferred.
- Find out about housing options for refugee and asylum seeking families or individuals.
- Rent your own property out.
- Join in communication and advocacy with people who need influencing.
- Education and raising awareness with schools and community groups.
To get in touch please email firstname.lastname@example.org.