Below are some of the questions we get asked on a regular basis - however, if you can't find the answer to your question, please feel free to contact us. Our details can be found on the contact page.
1. What volunteering opportunities are there?
There are several ways in which a volunteer can work with Refugee Action York.
We need volunteers to:
• Support adults in English language and conversation – service users’ abilities range from beginner to advanced level
• Support children aged 3 – 14, either leading or helping with various activities such as football, arts and crafts, music, dancing and drama
• Support the Turkish teacher, in a Teaching Assistant role, in the children’s Turkish lessons
• Support the Information and Support Service
• Offer homework support to a child or young person one evening per week
• Help with 4Corners Youth Club
• Collect donated food from the city centre on a Saturday night or early Sunday morning, and deliver to The Hub after 12.30 on Sunday
• Serve tea and coffee from the kitchen, lay out food for shared meal and clear up
• Welcome people at reception, sign them in and out again on departure
2. Do I have to come every week?
The Hub runs during school term time but not during holidays. We would recommend you try to come at least once every 3 weeks in order to build a relationship with service users and other volunteers.
3. Do I need any experience to volunteer?
If you have experience in working with children or vulnerable adults or teaching English, this will be useful but is not essential by any means. You will begin volunteering by shadowing for the first few weeks to get a ‘feel’ for The Hub, get to know people and find out if it really is for you.
4. What skills will I need?
In order to work with children you will need to have a valid enhanced DBS Certificate but this is something you can apply for through RAY, at no cost to you. Any experience in working with children or teaching English would be useful but we welcome volunteers of all levels of experience and ability. All volunteers must take the North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children test online. This is a free online test, which will take approximately an hour to complete.
5. What support will I get?
After your initial visit to look round The Hub, you will be invited to observe two Hub sessions as a “shadower”. You will then be invited to watch a short Induction presentation, and discuss with a Coordinator which volunteering role/s would be most suitable for you.
We hold regular volunteers meetings once every half term. All volunteers are required to attend all Volunteers Meetings. This is when we run our training sessions, and have the opportunity to communicate news, policy changes or updates to volunteers, and to receive feedback from volunteers.
6. Will I need an interview?
Following your induction training, and on receipt of two satisfactory references from people who have worked with you or know you well, we will discuss with you whether you are ready to start volunteering, in what role/s, and any training you may need.
7. How will volunteering help me?
Refugee Action York has a real sense of community, which has been built up over years of dedication by volunteers. This alone is a great reason to get involved and is something you can be a part of. Volunteering looks great on anyones CV and this is a thoroughly rewarding way to offer your time. Working with children, offering information and support or teaching English to adults can also get you some firsthand experience, which can help you get onto courses and into various related workplaces.