SW17 8NE



About the organisation


We have a range of group activities that support people of all ages to develop their English skills, access services and o... Read more

Job Description

Community Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (CARAS)

The Organisation: CARAS is a charity in south west London, working together with people of refugee background to provide practical, educational and social help. We create supportive relationships, networks and spaces that enable people to access what they need in order to increase their well-being and safety. Our team of staff and volunteers run a large range of activities and services which offer a place of welcome to refugees and asylum seekers, working with them to recognise skills and develop potential.

CARAS has become one of the largest providers of support for refugees in south London, working with some of the largest numbers of unaccompanied and separated children in the UK. We have responded to changes in demographics and are proud of our ability to remain agile.

Our Mission: To work together with asylum seekers and people of refugee background to provide practical, educational and social help. We create supportive relationships, networks and well informed services that enable people to access what they need in order to increase their wellbeing and safety

Our Vision: All who have sought refuge in the UK are welcomed, valued and supported within a community in which they can flourish.

Our overall goal for 2019-2021: Create a space that is welcoming and safe for asylum seekers and refugees, providing pathways for integration into the larger communities around us.  All activities will embody the key areas of social connection and friendship, confidence building, English language, opportunities for community integration and access to advice.

This is an exciting time for CARAS. The charity has grown considerably over the past 3 years. We currently employ 4 full-time and 4 part-time staff and are supported by a team of over 100 volunteers.  CARAS currently works with approximately 450 beneficiaries per year, 80% of whom are separated children. We have a wide range of expertise on our staff team including specialisms in refugee education, social work, volunteer support, facilitation, community development and women’s gender-related work.

Main purpose of the role

The CARAS Board of Trustees is led by a Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. Their work is supported by the trustees who collectively and individually ensure that strategic decisions are made in the best interests of the organisation and its beneficiaries.

Your Overarching Responsibilities as a Trustee

As a charity trustee for CARAS, you will have 6 main duties which you are responsible for alongside your fellow board of trustees. You are both individually and collectively responsible to:

• Ensure the charity is carrying out its purposes for the public benefit

• Comply with the charity’s governing document and the law

• Act in the charity’s best interests at all times

• Ensure the charity is accountable

• Manage the charity’s resources responsibly

• Act with reasonable care and skill

Trustees steer the organisation to ensure that activities are working toward the vision and mission of the charity. Our current trustees come from a range of backgrounds and are dedicated to CARAS’ mission of bettering the lives of refugees and asylum seekers. We actively encourage applications from people who have an insight into the needs of our local community and the people we work with, or are themselves members of those groups.


  • A willingness to actively participate in trustee meetings and decision-making
  • A strong and visible passion and commitment to the charity and its goals
  • Strong communication and inter-personal skills
  • Confidence as an ambassador for CARAS
  • Tact and diplomacy, with the ability to listen and respect diverse views
  • Strong networking capabilities that can be utilised for the benefit of the charity
  • Ability to foster and promote a collaborative team environment
  • Ability to commit time to conduct the role well, including attending out of hours’ meetings
  • An understanding of the needs and aspirations of refugees and asylum seekers


  • Experience of decision-making within a team or project
  • Some personal experience, either paid or unpaid, of the community or charity sector would be useful. However, we welcome applications from individuals who may currently lack this but are eager to learn.


  • To attend quarterly board meetings and the charity AGM as agreed
  • All trustees will serve a three-year term. They are eligible for re-appointment for additional terms as laid out in our governing document. All trustees agree to clear terms of service.

This is an unpaid volunteer role, although expenses for travel within London may be claimed.