If you have time and would like to contribute to dignity, justice, inclusion and welcome migrants and refugees we would love to hear from you!
We would not be able to do our work without the support of hundreds of people who give their time and skills and in 2017 our volunteers were awarded Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the highest award given to volunteers in the UK.
There are many ways for volunteers to get involved and what ever you are able to do makes enormous difference, especially at the time many people experience the hostile environment policies.
There are many ways in which mentors can help break isolation and loneliness many people experience as a result of their migration experience or treatment in the UK. One-to-one mentoring, which we have been perfecting over the past 10 years is the most powerful tool for wellbeing and welcome. The transformation that we have seen and progress that so many people have made thanks to mentoring has been enormous.
One of our volunteer mentors, went along with a single mum of three to a meeting with a Housing Department in one of the Inner London Boroughs. She was granted full refugee status and as a result she has to leave accommodation provided by the Home Office and she and her three kids are now homeless. Our volunteer phoned our office in shock as the Caseworker who was supposed to help the homeless family declared in front him and the children that the mother can go and sleep at the bus stop and children will taken into care. Luckily, we had a pro-bono lawyer (another volunteer) in the office that day, who was able to advise him what to do and say.
What the Caseworker said was not only cruel but also not true, but how is a homeless refugee single mum supposed to know that? If our volunteer was not there that day with this family until 8 pm they would have ended up homeless.
Although he was in a complete shock at the most appalling way these local authority officials behaved, our volunteer remained calm and polite and managed to help the family avoid homelessness. He kept telling us of his shock as he witnessed the most brutal lack of empathy and prejudice by the staff who are supposed to be there as a safety net for all of us. This is not the first time, and sadly not the last time that safety net failed people in need, but thankfully, the great people of Britain have volunteered to step in, and provide safety net when all else fails. This is refugee welcome in action.
There are many other examples of how mentoring changes lives. A few years ago have produced a comic Where Strangers Become Friends that illustrates mentoring relationship.
Mentors receive regular training and support from our Community Programme team.
Volunteers contribute to our work in a number of different ways:
If you have time and skills and feel passionately about justice and dignity for all migrants and refugees please come and volunteer at Migrants Organise.
Call us on 020 8964 4815 or email email@example.com.