Afghan Association Paiwand - Advocacy Service Manager
Job Title: Advocacy Project Manager
Salary: £25,000-26,000 pro rata (based on experience)
Contract length: 6 months (extension subject to funding)
Hours: 35 hours per week
Reports to: Director
Location: Hybrid – Home working, Main Office + Outreach Work
Afghan Association Paiwand (Paiwand) is a registered charity and limited company founded in 2002 by committed volunteers from the Afghan community. Paiwand aims to benefit all refugee communities in the United Kingdom through reducing poverty, advancing education, and relieving suffering. Last year, as an organization we served over 3,000 refugees and migrants through several services including Saturday schools, advice and advocacy, community events, accommodation for unaccompanied refugee young people, mentoring and youth support, among others. Paiwand supports all refugees and migrants to the UK, not just Afghans.
The Advocacy Service
The Paiwand Advocacy Service aims to assist and enable refugees and asylum seekers to have their views taken into account by the organisations who make decisions which affect them. Advocacy is not about making decisions for people, but about giving them the information and resources, they need to make decisions for themselves and then assisting them in following through those decisions. The service provides people with advice in support in several areas including housing, welfare benefits, legal rights, immigration advice, livelihoods and access to education. The team takes a client-centered approach. The advocacy service provided by Paiwand is both free and independent.
Aims of the Post
· To enable refugees and migrants living in Northwest London to successfully integrate and access services by providing support, information, representation and volunteer opportunities.
· To enable refugees and asylum seekers to communicate their views and exercise choices about the services they receive.
· To provide a service which reflects and responds to the needs and aspirations of people of different cultures, ages and backgrounds.
Main duties and responsibilities
· Lead and manage the Community advice and advocacy service and manage cases of the community advocacy clients especially those of a complex nature.
· Take strategic oversight of Paiwand as a charity together with the Senior Management Team.
· Be responsible for strategic development and for the quality of Paiwand's advice and advocacy services.
· Ensure the smooth and effective running of the advice and advocacy services.
· Recruit and manage a team of volunteer advocates.
· Oversee and organise training for staff and volunteers within the team.
· Work jointly with the Senior Management Team on seeking out and securing new funding opportunities for the advice and advocacy services.
· Maintain existing / develop new partnerships with other organisations in order to establish referrals, share resources, promoting and publicizing Paiwand’s activities and raising the quality of the service.
· Ensure that the advocacy project provides at least four group workshops each year to refugees and migrants in areas such as legal rights, civil issues, welfare reforms and housing.
· Maintain independence from statutory service providers and represent refugees and migrants at meetings and reviews impartially.
· Organise workshops to statutory service providers on refugee and migrant community needs.
· Sufficient knowledge of legislation in relation to housing, welfare and employment matters is desirable
· Leading the Community Advice project on issues of legal rights, health services, housing, welfare benefits etc. and to advocate on behalf of clients to enable them to exercise their rights in these areas.
· Provide practical assistance such as letter writing, accompanying clients to local schools, job centre plus or others, and form filling.
· Negotiate with service providers on behalf of service users, if requested.
· Support service users in accessing legal representation.
· Assist service users in accessing appropriate services not covered by Paiwand.
· Follow the wishes of clients and support their right to make their own decisions.
· Encourage service users to self-advocate where possible and support them in doing so.
· Oversee and maintain accurate records of contacts with service users in accordance with data protection policies.
· Participate in the collection of data for monitoring and evaluation of Paiwand’s advocacy services.
· Maintain the confidentiality of clients with external parties at all times unless authorised otherwise by the Director of Afghan Association Paiwand.
· Make sure you and all staff and volunteers use and records data within an online space provided by Microsoft Business account.
· Abide by and promote Afghan Association Paiwand’s Equal Opportunities policy.
· Take positive action to encourage the participation of service users who experience discrimination for reasons of gender, national or ethnic origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, or health status.
· Participate in the development and review of advocacy guidelines and protocols.
· Work in accordance with Afghan Association Paiwand’s policies and procedures, including the confidentiality policy, health and safety policy and advocacy guidelines.
· Keep abreast of new developments in advocacy, particularly those relating to the refugee and migrant communities.
· Keep up-to-date with the relevant policy changes in areas which effect client groups i.e. housing, immigration, welfare benefits etc.
Networking and publicity
· Publicise Paiwand’s services to potential service users through visits to projects and community organisations.
· Work collaboratively with other advice and advocacy services and refugee organisations.
· Network with other organisations from voluntary and statutory sectors for the purpose of promoting and publicizing Paiwand’s activities and raising the profile of the charity as a whole.
· Regularly promote the work of the community advocacy project by contributing to social media including messenger groups.
· Oversee and carry out administration duties associated with the provision of advocacy services, including correspondence, photocopying, maintaining accurate records and filing.
· Write reports, recommendations and reviews as required.
· Take minutes of meetings and events participated.
· Sufficient knowledge of Microsoft Suit is required, especially Excel and Word.
· Attend and participate in regular supervision with line manager.
· Supervise and support volunteer and staff members within the advocacy team.
· Take part in training and professional development.
· Attend, and lead weekly advocacy team meetings.
· Participate in cover arrangements for absent colleagues.
· Carry out other relevant duties as requested by the Director of Paiwand.
· Be flexible in working hours – occasional evening and weekend work will be required for which time off in lieu will be given. The Advocacy Service Manager is encouraged to work flexitime and manage their own schedule to ensure they are not working excessive overtime.
· Take initiative in organising donations, fundraising events and Media representation.
Core organisational activities
· Actively participate in events, internal Paiwand meetings and consultations
· Participating and maintaining a friendly office environment