WELCOME TO OUR EXCITING VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITIES
Volunteering is at the heart of RETAS, we value the contribution of our volunteers and simply could not manage without them.
We always aim to find a role that helps both RETAS and our volunteers and have a range of opportunities from Befriending, Interpreting, IT, admin, staffing our Welcome Desk and Reception, assisting clients with searches for accommodation, to assisting in language classes, helping clients with Job Searches, CV writing, social media and fundraising.
We welcome applications for volunteers from all backgrounds. We have a dedicated manager who looks after and mentors our volunteers and we provide comprehensive training and support.
So, if you are looking for something to help you improve your confidence, enhance your CV and develop new skills and knowledge for employment or just to socialise and help others then please contact us and join our thriving volunteer team.
If you have any questions about volunteering at RETAS, please send us an email at: email@example.com
PLEASE COMPLETE THE VOLUNTEERING FORM
How RETAS empowers Refugees to Rebuild Their Lives
As an advisor at RETAS, I had the privilege of working with a family who had arrived in the UK seeking asylum. They had four children and two parents, and their arrival at RETAS marked the beginning of a journey towards securing fundamental human rights. My first task was to ensure that they had a secure home for themselves and their children. However, the language barrier made it challenging to communicate with them effectively. Once we were able to get past this hurdle with the help of an interpreter, I discovered that they were no longer receiving any financial support. Together, we worked on adding them to the system and applying for Universal Credit to help them receive financial assistance.
The biggest challenge we faced was finding them a home in the midst of the ongoing housing crisis. We contacted the Council and private housing agents, but it was proving to be difficult. Despite the challenges, we persevered and eventually, after many phone calls and emails, we succeeded! However, later the family informed me that they wanted to move to London. I advised them on the importance of having a planned move to ensure they don't end up homeless. Unplanned moves resulting in homelessness are common among the refugee and asylum community.
The whole process took three months and even though they moved outside West Yorkshire I didn’t want them to feel abandoned and so outside of my working hours, I continued to work with them. I obtained information on several organisations that could help them settle in London and since they moved, we have remained in contact. The family is now settled and their children are enrolled in schools. They were extremely grateful for the support provided, and seeing photos of them enjoying their new life gave me a great sense of achievement in helping them restart their life.
RETAS has not only changed my life, but it has also given me the opportunity to help others. My experiences with RETAS in different positions have made me realise that "once you drink from the Nile, you are destined to return." RETAS has become a second home for me, and I am proud to be part of an organization that provides essential support to asylum seekers and refugees.
While shadowing, I had the privilege of listening to first-hand accounts of refugees and their journeys to the UK, which expanded my understanding and appreciation of the plight of asylum seekers. I also attended Induction training and other sessions learning about Reception, Employment and Education, IT and Admin, Safeguarding, Welfare and Finance support and observed appointments with clients that further helped me broadened my knowledge and skill set, which in turn enabled me to increase my confidence to offer assistance wherever I felt comfortable stepping in.
This supportive and nurturing environment at RETAS provided me with the confidence to engage with clients and ultimately offer meaningful support.
My first client required assistance in obtaining a provisional licence. Although the task seemed simple, it was anything but for someone who was new to the process. Being able to provide support and guidance to this individual was immensely gratifying, and I appreciated the opportunity to contribute to their progress.
It is worth emphasizing that any form of assistance offered at RETAS is life-changing, not only for those who seek help but also for volunteers like myself who gain new skills and have the opportunity to get involved with and give back to the community. I am grateful to have had this experience and am continually inspired by the positive impact that RETAS has on the lives of refugees and asylum seekers.