Do you want to make a real difference to the lives of newly recognised refugees in the UK? Do you want to learn more about welfare and housing in the UK? Then this is the role for you!
Integration Advice Volunteers will volunteer within Refugee Council's Integration Services, supporting clients in the so-called ‘move-on period’, helping them make the transition from being an asylum seeker to being a refugee. This will involve providing a range of support including face-to-face and telephone advice, triaging of drop-in clients and administrative tasks.
What will I be doing?
- Face-to-face welfare and housing advice for clients, including assistance with filling forms, liaising with government agencies and council offices, drafting letters, etc.
- Basic outreach mentoring support, i.e. accompanying clients to property viewings, negotiating terms with landlords, and helping clients familiarise with their local area.
- Researching housing options for our clients and developing an up to date list of landlords, agencies and schemes.
- Updating client information on the organisation’s casework database.
- Triaging and signposting drop-in clients.
- Replying to telephone and email enquiries and sorting incoming mail.
Useful skills and experience:
- Weekly availability for at least six months. The training period alone takes two months, if you cannot commit to at least six months please do not apply.
- No prior experience of advice provision is required, but attendance to training is mandatory.
- An interest in refugee issues and willingness to learn about the welfare and housing rights of refugees.
- Ability to build trusting relationships with vulnerable clients whilst maintaining personal boundaries.
- Ability to deal sensitively to often complicated and traumatic issues.
- Good command of written and spoken English.
- Very good computer skills and ability to use the organisations’ database (training will be provided).
- Good telephone manner.
- Ability to communicate in another language would be of benefit but not essential.
- Punctuality and reliability, we expect people to come in on their chosen volunteering day every week.
What support will I receive?
Induction and specialised training on welfare benefits, council housing, private rented sector and our organisation’s database.
Regular support from a supervisor and a volunteer coordinator.
Travel and lunch expenses.
Marsh Awards: through sponsorship from the Marsh Trust, Refugee Council also provides volunteers with the opportunity to design and set-up a new service for new clients. There will be an opportunity to discuss this with the volunteer coordinator.
Number of places: 10.
Interviews: Interviews to be held 16th - 25th September.
Plase note: attendance is compulsory.
- Tuesday 29th October 9.30am – 1.30pm - Induction (AM) and Asylum system (PM)
- Tuesday 5th November and Thursday 7th November 10.30am – 4pm (volunteer to choose one of the days) - Familiarizing with role's procedures and practicalities (AM) and database (PM)
- w/c 11th November, date & time TBC - Welfare benefits
- Wednesday 20th November 10.30 am – 4pm – Homelessness regulations
- Thursday 28th November 10.30am – 2pm – Introduction to the Private Rented Sector project
- w/c 2nd December - Shadowing session
-- Please note we can only accept applications from volunteers who live within London travel zones or whose train ticket doesn't exceed £10. --