Volunteering with Southwark Day Centre for Asylum Seekers
- sensitive to the issues around working with people from diverse backgrounds?
- committed to asylum and refugee issues?
If so, would you enjoy working as part of our team of volunteers?
Volunteer with us
Volunteers have a crucial part to play in our work at Southwark Day Centre by filling a number of roles, listed below.
Our services are operating differently to normal due to the pandemic. However, our volunteer team is still doing vital work running the services listed below. We are slowly taking on new volunteers, so please do apply to us if you’re interested in joining the team. There is a waiting list, but we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Our advice team often refers people to get specialist support from partner organisations, or other local groups. However, there can be many barriers to navigating different support systems, and sometimes people end up coming back to us because they haven’t managed to get what they needed. This could be due to a language barrier, complex paperwork, or another issue that prevents the person from getting the assistance that they need. Our new volunteer advocates will provide extra support and 'accompany' those who need it through these processes. Unlike our advice volunteers, who deal with many different cases each week, you may work with one or two people until their issue is fully resolved. This is a new volunteer role, and we’re still finalising exactly how it will work, so if you apply for this you may need to wait a short while before we begin.
Time commitment: 4 hours a week
Key times: Ideally you would have 4 hours free during the week during working hours. These do not need to be all at the same time.
Key skills: We provide training for all our volunteers, but it would be helpful if you already have some understanding of the types of issues that our clients face, and some experience of dealing with people in distress
People’s first contact with the day centre is often through our triaging worker, Alex. Triaging is the process of identifying what issues someone has and who the right person to support them is. This might be someone within SDCAS, or someone external. Because of the large number of enquiries that we receive, triaging is an essential part of our advice service, and we are currently seeking volunteers to support with this. You will work over the phone with clients, and gain a deeper understanding of the wide range of issues affecting asylum seekers, refugees and migrants.
Time commitment: Ideally 6 hours a week, but if you have less time available please get in touch to discuss this.
Key times: Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.
Key skills: We provide training for all our volunteers and you will work alongside Alex, but it would be helpful if you already have some understanding of the types of issues that our clients face, and some experience of dealing with people in distress.
Volunteer coordination assistant
SDCAS has a team of around 70 volunteers. Our Volunteers Coordinator works with this team to help deliver the organisation’s services. We are looking for a volunteer to assist the coordinator with improving and expanding some of the support we offer volunteers. In this role you’ll be assisting with creating volunteer newsletters and communications, organising volunteer recruitment and events, and undertaking some of the administration that goes into coordinating the volunteer team.
Time commitment: 4-7 hours a week.
Key times: You need to have at least 2 hours free during working hours on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, but some of the role can be done outside work hours.
Key skills: It would be ideal for someone who is confident with IT and keen to get experience in volunteer and activities coordination.
CLOTHING TEAM VOLUNTEER
SDCAS’s clothing team is run by volunteers, and provides bespoke packs of clothing to our clients and their families. The role involves speaking to clients over the phone to identify what they need, picking out clothes from the clothing store in Croydon, and handing our clothing packs to clients on Tuesdays. It’s an essential service for people who may not be able to afford new clothing and the team tries hard to make sure everything we give out is excellent quality and as close to the person’s preferences as possible .
Time commitment: 3 hours a week.
Key times: Monday and Tuesday afternoons, but you would only need to be free on each of these days once every 3 weeks as the roles in the team rotate.
Key skills: Drivers with own vehicle particularly welcome, but everyone welcome to apply.
SDCAS offers art classes for asylum seekers who are temporarily housed in the borough. These creative sessions also provide a wellbeing space. We’re looking for enthusiastic artists who can facilitate group work and have a sensitivity to the issues people are facing in this situation.
Key times: These sessions take place in the evenings. Days of the week still to be set.
Time commitment: 4 hours week (evenings)
Key skills: Art skills, and some experience running workshops or teaching. IDeally you should also have some experience working with vulnerable adults and/or working with people experiencing mental health distress.
Our remote advice team supports people to navigate a wide range of issues including housing and homelessness, benefits and debt, health and wellbeing and immigration issues. We are currently offering advice primarily remotely (over the phone) due to Covid, but as things improve we hope to offer in person advice again.
Time commitment: 4-5 hours a week
Key times: Thursdays from 1pm - 4.30pm.
Key skills: An understanding of some of the issues our clients face, great attention to detail, some experience of working with people in distress.
Our ESOL classes are currently on hold, but we are beginning to offer online classes and we hope to start in person classes soon. Please apply if you are interested, but bear in mind there will be a wait. Times and dates are still to be confirmed.
Key skills: Experience in teaching, especially in teaching English for speakers of other languages is preferred but not essential if you have other relevant experience.
How to apply
If you would like to apply to volunteer, please fill in the application form on line here.
If you prefer to return your form by post please contact email@example.com for a paper copy.
If you would like to discuss any of these roles with us further before applying then please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You should hear back from us within 14 days.
We offer a unique opportunity for students to be involved at our daycentres on placement as part of course work requirements.
We cannot always guarantee a placement as opportunities are limited and subject to negotiation with the course provider – we welcome the opportunity to consider your request.
If you are interested in applying for a placement, please email us with the following details:
Please email us at email@example.com with the above details or if you would like to ask for further information. You should receive a reply from us within 14 days.