Role: Referral volunteer (laptops)
Supervised by: Adult caseworker
Location: Tooting office on a Thursday afternoon (2-5pm) for period of training/induction. Remote or in person once induction is complete.
Time commitment: 3 hours a week, we ask that volunteers commit for a minimum of 6 months
Community Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (CARAS) is a registered charity that has been supporting refugees and asylum-seekers since 2002 empowering them to integrate and engage in the local community.
Arriving as an asylum seeker/refugee can be a disempowering experience. Difficulties with language, accessing services and overcoming prejudice are ever-present. As an organisation we are committed to work alongside refugees to overcome those challenges, and to help them build their lives.
We offer group support and targeted support work. We offer a range of activities including: ESOL classes; social and recreational activities such as youth club, drama, trips and family activities; educational support for young people; and casework and advocacy support.
Our values are at the center of all our work:
• Kindness: CARAS will nurture all who are part of our community, helping everyone to develop their skills, talents, and interests
• Justice: CARAS will strive for social justice following a rights-based approach in all our work and challenging instances when rights are not upheld in wider society
• Empowerment: CARAS works alongside people, recognising and respecting their skills and strengths and striving together for better outcomes
• ‘With’ not ‘for’: CARAS will put the voices, opinions, experiences and needs of its beneficiaries at the heart of all that we do
About the Role:
CARAS offers advocacy casework integrated into all of its projects, ensuring that people who attend our groups can access support to address issues in a friendly and timely manner. A key part of the casework service is to help connect people to resources and activities that they need.
A key areas of need is digital access, either by smart phone or laptop.
People living in asylum accommodation receive £9/week making saving for items impossible.
Whilst many activities have returned to face-to-face delivery many have stayed online, not having a laptop impedes people’s ability to join English classes and social activities. People attending college face difficulties in completing college work without access to computers in the evenings, access to a laptop means people are able to take greater control over their independent learning. Smart phones make a huge difference in people’s ability to have contact with family and community across the world.
To meet this need we have built a partnership with a grant giving organisation, Acts435, to support people to get personal laptops.
We are able to refer 5 people at a time for grants to buy new laptops/phones. Once the grant money is received we purchase the devices for community members to collect.
We are looking for a volunteer to do these referrals each month and support people to purchase and receive their laptops and phones. This is an extremely rewarding role, interacting with lots of the CARAS community members and making a very tangible positive impact on people’s lives.
Tasks and responsibilities:
– contacting community members who are on our waiting lists by phone to explain the scheme to them
– complete grant applications with community members
– monitoring the grant platform to see when grants have been made
– purchasing laptops online and liaising with community members to arrange collection
– completing monitoring forms with community members once grants are recieved and uploading to grant platform
– recording all referrals and work done on our case management system (lamplight)
· Confidence in using IT (online forms, online shopping, google maps, email, DocuSign)
· To be non-judgemental and able to engage with people from diverse backgrounds;
· A commitment to confidentiality and data protection
· Thorough with good attention to detail
· A high level of spoken and written English
· Excellent communication skills, especially with people who are new to English;
· Ability to gather information from people in a sensitive way
· A calm, friendly, kind and patient approach
· Enjoyment in speaking to new people
· A commitment to working in an empowering way
· Able to maintain boundaries
· Able to work autonomously
· Currently resident in the UK
· Experience working with refugees and asylum seekers
· Fluent in one or more of: Pashtu, Farsi, Tigrinya, Somali, Arabic or Dari, Russian, Ukrainian, Albanian, Amharic, Kurdish Sorani, Spanish, French
· Experience of working with interpreters
Benefits to volunteering
Through volunteering with us you will:
· Learn about issues relating to refugees and people seeking asylum;
· Work as part of a friendly, welcoming team;
· Develop your skills and competencies;
· Be able to access relevant training, including safeguarding training.
All volunteers must complete a DBS check and attend training with us before starting. You will also receive training and support relevant to your specific role.
To Apply To apply for this opportunity, download and complete the CARAS volunteer application form, using this volunteer role description to inform your answers. Email your completed form to Mirza at firstname.lastname@example.org with the email subject header, “Casework referrals volunteer (laptops)”.
Successful applicants will have an informal meeting with the Adult caseworker, and one with community members, to assess compatibility to the role. These meetings will be on a rolling basis so apply ASAP.
To apply for this job email your details to email@example.com.