Coffee Afternoon Programme Volunteer 

Website CARAS

CARAS Volunteer Application Form 2020


About CARAS:

Community Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (CARAS) is a charity that supports refugees and asylum-seekers living in south-west London. We work primarily with people who are newly arrived in the UK, most of whom are living in temporary Home Office accommodation. Arriving as a refugee in the UK can be a terrifying and disempowering experience. Difficulties with language barriers, accessing services, financial insecurity and ongoing uncertainty are extremely challenging and disempowering. CARAS is here to work collaboratively with community members to support them to build skills, connect meaningfully with their local community, and to build positive futures in the UK. 


CARAS offers a range of individual and group support to improve the holistic wellbeing of people who have a forced displacement background. For adults this currently includes: ESOL, digital skills and employability sessions; social and recreational activities and casework. All programs are interlinked and work hand-in-hand with one another. For example, community members can practice their spoken English in Coffee Afternoon, and casework issues might be picked up and referred into the team during an ESOL class. We design and develop our programs through consultation and ongoing conversations with our community members. We aim to have a strong volunteer presence across all our programs, fostering connections between asylum seekers and other Londoners! 


About CARAS’s Adult Programming and Coffee Afternoon:

CARAS has been providing support to adult refugee women since 2005, promoting skills and confidence development that helps women gain more power in their lives. In the aftermath of COVID, we have been able to expand our adult programmes, responding to the shifting demographics of those seeking asylum in the UK. We now run a range of mixed programmes for all genders, as well as some women-only spaces. Our coffee afternoon is a mixed group. 

Our coffee afternoon has been running since May 2022 and is one of our most popular groups. It takes place at TARA Theatre in Earlsfield from 1-2.30PM every Friday. Its primary aim is to reduce isolation amongst those we work with by providing a safe, friendly and welcoming space for people to have fun, learn about themselves and each other, and build connections.  

In 2023, we have been running creative sessions during Coffee Afternoon, facilitated by freelance creative practitioners in partnership with TARA Theatre. These range from dance to drama, poetry to puppetry. For sessions without a creative practitioner, we sometimes host workshops on important topics such as healthcare rights or have an open and informal space for games and a chat. There is always coffee and a selection of baked goods! 

For more on TARA, our partner and host, please visit their website – 


Tasks and Responsibilities: 

  • To attend CARAS coffee afternoon’s, every Friday between 1-2.30PM in Earlsfield, South-west London. They take place at TARA Theatre, right opposite Earlsfield Station. Location here- (356 Garratt Ln, London SW18 4ES). 
  • If there is a week this is not possible, to tell CARAS staff as far in advance as you are able. 
  • To welcome and connect with community members attending, working to ensure everyone at the group feels included. 
  • To take part if there is a creative activity happening in that session, and help liaise with CARAS staff and the creative practitioner to ensure the activity runs smoothly. 
  • To encourage and inspire community members to feel confident and reach their full potential. 
  • To share conversation, and chat informally with our community members.  
  • To assist community members to both recognise and celebrate their achievements. 
  • To challenge negative attitudes and behaviour in an appropriate manor. 
  • To adhere to CARAS Confidentiality policy, Health & Safety policy, Equal Opportunities policy and all other policies as relevant. 



  • To have interest in working with refugees and asylum seekers. 
  • To be non-judgemental, and able and willing to engage with people from diverse cultural backgrounds, and differing levels of English. 
  • To be reliable and punctual. 
  • To be a current resident in the UK. 
  • To provide five years’ worth of addresses and be willing to undergo a UK DBS check.  
  • To attend CARAS General and Safeguarding Training, and any further training as necessary. 
  • To be 18 years or older. 


Through volunteering with us you will:

  • Meet new members of your local community 
  • Learn about different cultures and life experiences from across the world 
  • Learn about issues relating to refugee and asylum seekers 
  • Work as part of a friendly, welcoming team 
  • Develop your skills and competencies 
  • Be able to access relevant training, including safeguarding 


To Apply:

Please fill in the volunteer application form and email it to us. Successful applicants will have an informal meeting with the Head of Adult Inclusion and Adult Program Coordinator these meetings will be on a rolling basis so apply ASAP! 

Details for this role are in the description and not mentioned in the application form but please fill in your details in the Volunteer application form attached and send it back to us at  with email subject ‘Coffee Afternoon volunteer’. Please CC in our Head of Adult Inclusion, Maria Wardale and our Adult Programme Co-ordinator, Rosie Barry-  


CARAS Volunteer Application Form 2020

To apply for this job email your details to