Supporting Refugee Week
20 June, 2018
As we tune into Refugee Week, and follow the activities which are taking place across the globe to celebrate and raise awareness of refugees, we reflect back on our volunteer awards run in partnership with the Refugee Council which are, this year, celebrating their 12th Anniversary.
Volunteers can play an important role to supporting refugees and asylum seekers through all stages of their arrival and resettlement in a host country. Our Awards go to Refugee Council volunteers running vital services, many of whom have been through the asylum process themselves and want to share their experience, skills and energy to help others.
Whether it is by supporting young asylum seekers, giving practical guidance to life in the UK, helping refugees to deal with trauma, or providing social and cultural spaces, these volunteer-led projects make a great difference to the lives of refugees.
One of the first volunteers to win this award was the 2010 winner, Boaz Atwine, who designed and led a project bringing first aid training to refugee communities. Delivered in partnership with the British Red Cross, this project enabled those lacking language skills and knowledge of healthcare in a new country to deal with medical emergencies adequately.
A remarkable group of volunteers were the Refugee Women’s Group in Hull, who won awards in 2014 and 2015. Made up of volunteers with both refugee and non-refugee backgrounds, this group has run cooking classes, arts and crafts sessions and provided support with learning English and entering employment.
Similarly, the New Aspirants Project volunteers, who won awards in 2014 and 2017, help young asylum seekers to develop their skills and career aspirations. The programme has a focus on peer mentoring, encouraging young asylum seekers to express themselves and support each other within a safe group environment.
We’ll be presenting this year’s Awards at the Refugee Council’s staff and volunteer conference on the 3rd July in Sheffield. Stay tuned to find out more about the winning projects and volunteers!