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Website CARAS_LDN CARAS (COMMUNITY ACTION FOR REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS)

Supporting Diversity, Challenging Adversity

CARAS- Volunteer-Application-Form

 

About CARAS:

CARAS is a leading refugee charity in Southwest London, providing firm foundations for new-arrival asylum seekers to build happy and successful lives. Arriving as an asylum seeker in the UK can be a terrifying and disempowering experience. Difficulties with language, accessing services and overcoming prejudice are ever-present. We exist to help people seeking asylum overcome those challenges, and to help them rebuild their lives.

 

We provide person-centred educational, social and casework support to over 600 young people and adults across South London each year, recognising the moment of arrival as one of opportunity. Our work provides individuals with essential support to build language and employability skills, develop social networks and friendships, and access essential services such as legal and mental health services. Our work has multi-generational impact, providing forced migrants with early interventions to support language and skill acquisition, tackling the root causes of socio-economic marginalisation by supporting social inclusion and future labour market access.

 

Volunteering with CARAS – our Community of Welcome:

CARAS has a proud history of volunteers helping us deliver our charitable aims. Volunteers are an essential part of the CARAS community, bringing skills, insights, experience, different languages, and enthusiasm to the roles. Community members tell us the welcome by volunteers is so important in an often hostile world. It helps them feel safe and wanted. Community is at the heart of all we do, and we could not deliver the projects we do without the enormous contribution that volunteers bring.

 

About CARAS Adult Programme:

Alongside educational and casework support, CARAS has a thriving social program of weekly activities, from women’s yoga, to creative coffee afternoons, sports sessions and workshops, designed and built in collaboration with our community, volunteers and local partners. Most people we work with in the adult team are waiting for a decision on their asylum claim, are accommodated in cramped and inadequate hotels contracted by the Home Office for up to – and sometimes more than – 2 years whilst they wait for a decision on their asylum claim. During this time, they are eligible for only £8.86 per week and are prohibited from working. This is an incredibly stressful and disempowering period for those seeking asylum. Against this backdrop, our social activities exist as spaces of welcome, for people to come and make meaningful connections, build confidence and importantly – have fun!

 

About the Trips and Holiday Activities Project:

Alongside our weekly timetable of term time activities, we run trips across London during the school holidays. These are always chosen and planned together with our community members, and so far have included trips to famous parks, museums, galleries, and the theatre. We know from our community members how important these trips are; they are a chance to explore parts of the city that would otherwise be inaccessible, and to feel more at home in the city. As one community member told us, ‘to discover new places…this makes us feel included’. They are an opportunity to learn something new with others, to meet new people, relax and have fun.

 

About the Role:

To support us with these trips and holiday activities, we are looking for friendly, welcoming, enthusiastic and proactive volunteers. You will support us practically to ensure the trips run smoothly and on time, but also will be an essential part of our community of welcome – to chat and get to know our community members, and make sure everyone feels included and is having a good time.

We intend to hold 2 trips in the Easter holidays, and up to 5 trips in the summer holidays. These will all be in locations across London, most likely during daytime hours. We will also run a combination of adult-only and child-friendly trips across the year – this is what our community have told us they want! We usually have a group of 10-20 community members and will always have at least one CARAS staff member present too.

Ideally, we are looking for volunteers who are flexible during school holidays and can attend at least 3 trips throughout the year, though we may consider those who might only be able to volunteer on a one-off basis.

 

Tasks and Responsibilities:

To attend CARAS trips as and when you are available to do so.

To support with the logistics of travelling to and from the trip location.

To keep an eye on the general health and wellbeing of our Community Members and report any concerns to the CARAS staff member present.

To encourage positive connections between people and the places we are visiting, opening up conversations to learn about each other.

On family-friendly trips, to assist where needed with the supervision of children present (alongside parents)

 

Requirements – Essential:

To be 18 years or older;

To be non-judgemental and able to engage with people from diverse cultural backgrounds;

To be reliable and punctual;

To be welcoming, friendly part of the group, and to make sure our community members have the best and most fruitful time possible at the locations we visit.

Excellent communication skills, especially with people with varying levels of English;

Current resident of the UK;

Able to provide five years’ worth of addresses, and willing to undergo a DBS check;

Able to complete compulsory volunteer induction training (online) general and safeguarding via 2 self-paced induction training webinars prior to the start of role;

 

Requirements – Desirable:

Knowledge of community languages, such as Farsi, Arabic, Tigrinya, Amharic, Somali and Spanish.

 

Through volunteering with us you will gain:

An opportunity to connect with and learn from a vibrant and diverse community of people who are new to the city;

A chance to share your knowledge of the city and places of interest with our community;

A deeper understanding of the experiences, challenges, and strengths of those seeking asylum here;

A deeper understanding of language-inclusive practices in multi-lingual groups;

Develop your skills and competencies;

 

To Apply:

If you have any questions about the role, please email our Head of Adult Inclusion Maria Wardale at maria@caras.org.uk.

To apply for this opportunity, please download and complete the CARAS volunteer application form from the CARAS website using this volunteer role description to inform your answers. Email your completed form to Mirza at volunteering@caras.org.uk with email subject header “–CARAS Adult Team Trips and Holiday Activities volunteer.”

Successful applicants will have an informal online meeting with a member of the CARAS Adult team and a community member. These meetings will be on a rolling basis so please apply ASAP!

CARAS- Volunteer-Application-Form

To apply for this job email your details to volunteering@caras.org.uk.

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