Refugee Support Interpreter Volunteer
About the role
This role is an essential communication link between people who use the refugee & asylum seekers support services, and staff and volunteers who provide the service. Many of our service users do not speak English as their first language and they rely on high-quality, confidential interpretation and translation to relay their personal information. For many of our service users this can be a difficult and distressing process due to their common experiences of conflict, trauma or destitution. Clear interpretation is critical in terms of vulnerable refugees & asylum seekers access the relevant advice and support.
About the Team
We use kindness to help those in crisis.
Every year thousands of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants arrive in the UK with little support, money, or opportunities. Sometimes these people don't even have the means to find and contact their loved ones back home. It's our job to do what we can to help.
We're a diverse, busy team dotted all over the country who share the common goal of doing what we can to make refugee lives that little bit brighter. From providing emotional support to reuniting families, we're committed to helping as many people as we can in as many ways as we can. Seeing the look on someone's face when they are put back in contact with a partner, parent, or child, that they thought they'd never see again is simply priceless.
About the person
You need to have good interpersonal, diplomacy, communication and teamwork skills although full training will be given for any technical requirements. Also someone who is:
- Interested in interpreting and/or translation and able to verbally communicate fluently and/or write in the language required (as well as in English)
- Willing to use their proven listening skills to support others
- Interested in and has an understanding of issues around working with refugees and asylum seekers
- Personally resilient as you may need to deal with difficult or challenging situations
- Able to use emotional support skills in a calm and responsible manner
- Able to keep the service user at the heart of what you do, supporting the Red Cross to understand service user needs and the difference our role makes.
- Available to work at short notice if necessary
- This role requires a criminal record check to the appropriate level
- Willing to uphold the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, adhere to the Society's Equal Opportunities and Confidentiality Policy
- Able to commit time and assist us (predominantly) between 9 -5, Monday to Friday. In the event of an emergency availability out of hours is helpful, but not essential.
- Understanding of GDPR regulations or willingness to learn this.
- Understanding of the importance of confidentiality when interpreting.
Tasks included in this Role:
- Facilitating communication between caseworker and service user by providing interpretation and/or translation services, either by telephone or in person
- Interpreting/translating according to the British Red Cross Interpreting Guidelines
- Assisting clients in completing forms in their own language if required
- Identify and respond appropriately to safeguarding and protection issues with vulnerable clients, including children and vulnerable adults.
What We Offer
- Access to relevant in-house training and development opportunities, including British Red Cross intranet site , e-learning facility and 'Fuse' (our online platform where you can access a range of engaging bite sized pieces of learning to support your personal development.
- A full induction, support and supervision throughout your volunteering period
- Valuable exposure to the work of the Red Cross in the UK and around the world
- Reimbursement of reasonable out-of-pocket expenses when on duty
- Being a volunteer for the British Red Cross means that you can proudly say you are part of the world's largest humanitarian organisation.
Young People and This Role
We value the energy and enthusiasm that young people bring to this role. To volunteer for this role you must be aged 18+. However (subject to a risk assessment, safeguarding requirements and parental consent) those aged 15+ can be involved in a variety of activities such as promoting the service, supporting service volunteers and undertaking training via other roles.
Here's a little bit more about us...
The British Red Cross help anyone, anywhere in the UK; get the support they need if crisis strikes.
From hiring a wheelchair or dealing with loneliness, to adjusting to life in a new country - we're there when you need us. Our goal is to connect human kindness with human crisis.
We're part of the global Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and we believe in the power of kindness.
Our organisation was born out of a desire to bring help without discrimination. Impartiality and neutrality have been central values for the Red Cross since we started.
Connecting human kindness with human crisis