Established in 2011, DASH supports people seeking asylum, in the Huddersfield area. Our mission is to ensure they are Safe, Warm, Fed and Valued.
Pre-Covid, DASH worked with up to 100 clients a week – many of whom visited our drop-ins for the social get together, as well as the range of welfare and asylum casework support services we offer. During the current suspension of drop-ins due to Covid-19, we’re helping approx 50 clients a week, mainly over the phone but with some face to face appointments for essential and urgent casework.
Typically, we’re helping those: in pre-claim status, experiencing their initial claim, new refugees setting up benefits /home after receiving Leave To Remain, new refugees in a family reunion situation, seeking further support following a negative Home Office decision.
Our range of support includes:
Advocacy relating to accommodation and asylum support. Access to healthcare and education. ESOL classes. Destitution hardship payments. Practical support with translation, transport, Home Office signing, appointments and detention. Asylum casework regulated by OISC to Level 2.
Since lockdown, we’ve been delivering more outreach help in the form of telephone welfare checks and follow up support. Most of this is provided by volunteers who are supported by 3 members of staff and a board of 8 Trustees.
Volunteer Role TitleAsylum Guide volunteer
About the Volunteer RoleDo you want to be part of a team that empowers asylum seekers to take control of their asylum journey? Our clients are asylum seekers who have recently arrived in Kirklees seeking safety after fleeing conflict and persecution. Many asylum seekers face barriers in the UK as they struggle with the complex asylum system. In order for asylum seekers to be granted protection, they need to ensure that they have a full and fair chance to tell their story. To do this they need to understand the process and their rights within it. Asylum Guides volunteers are paired up with newly arrived asylum-seekers to meet them at key stages of the asylum process and offer guidance and information. Time commitment : You’ll need to complete initial induction and training, two half-day sessions (tbc). We would like you to be able to meet your client(s) up to 2 hours per session, approx. 2 sessions per month . Ideally you will be able to commit to volunteer with us for at least 6 months. All volunteers receive: Asylum Guides training and access to the Asylum Guides website. Ongoing support from Asylum Guide Project Coordinator. We offer reasonable expenses to cover travel and other incurred expenses. You will be expected to volunteer within Kirklees. In the light of Covid-19, we will be using technology where possible (Zoom, Whatsapp) to facilitate virtual meetings. This role will include: • Sharing legal information (generic, factual information) to enable clients to develop knowledge and confidence in the areas of UK asylum process, asylum support, and understanding their rights and responsibilities while claiming asylum • Referring / signposting clients to other sources of help where possible • Empowering clients and promoting their independence • Referring wider concerns back to the Asylum Guides Coordinator • Keeping accurate records of meetings • Recording feedback for project evaluation We are looking for volunteers with the following skills: • Understanding and commitment to the needs of refugees and asylum seekers • A positive approach to working in a multicultural and multiracial setting • Reliable, organised volunteers with good timekeeping • Basic IT • A basic understanding and commitment to equal opportunities and confidentiality • Ability to understand, communicate and simplify complex information to clients with differing levels of English • Other language skills are helpful but not essential.
When you can volunteerFlexible
Suitable for under 18'sNo
Type of roleBefriending/Support/Care, Teaching/Mentoring
Special RequirementsApplication form required, Disabled Access, References required, DBS (criminal record check that the organisation will organise)
Anywhere in Kirklees