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An initiative of in association with Steven Howlett Volunteering, Asylum and Health.

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Presentation on theme: "An initiative of in association with Steven Howlett Volunteering, Asylum and Health."— Presentation transcript:

1 An initiative of in association with Steven Howlett Volunteering, Asylum and Health

2 Asylum Seekers & Refugees as Volunteers Organisational reasons to include asylum seekers and refugees as volunteers: -Business Reasons Enhanced effectiveness - draw on a wider pool of talent Becoming more representative of service users (pupils) Help reflect better the needs of the local community Enhanced access to funding focused on social exclusion -Ethical reasons Equity - volunteering for all

3 Volunteering, Asylum and Health Asylum Seekers & Refugees as Volunteers Individual reasons for asylum seekers and refugees to volunteer: -Employability Skills Experience and references -Integration Feeling part of the community Helping break down prejudices Overcome feelings of isolation -Family Better understanding of the education system Promoting rights and protecting interests of own children -Others benefits Empowerment (skills, knowledge and confidence) Mental and physical well-being

4 Volunteering, Asylum and Health What Research Tells Us Stopforth, 2001, The Effects of Volunteering on Refugees -Much volunteering is occurring within own communities -Those with higher educational qualifications are more likely to volunteer -Volunteering often stops after paid work is secured IVR, 2004, Volunteering for All? -Cross-cutting barriers, routes into volunteering, benefits of volunteering Ellis, 2004, Barriers to participation in school governance -Many of the issues identified with access to school governance were similar to those found in other volunteer-involving organisation Home Office Citizenship Survey 2001 and 2003 - BME groups are represented as volunteers, but it is more likely that you will volunteer if born in the UK

5 Volunteering, Asylum and Health Barriers to Volunteering Psychological -The public image of volunteering -Fear of over commitment -Lack of confidence -Other people’s attitudes -Fear of losing welfare benefits Practical -The difficulty of finding out about volunteering opportunities -Over formal recruitment procedures -Poor follow-up of potential new recruits -Physically inaccessible environments -The costs of volunteering – transport and childcare

6 Volunteering, Asylum and Health Routes into Volunteering Tried and tested methods to reduce the barriers to volunteering: -Publicising the reality of volunteering – through a range of format and disseminated widely -Building relationships – with organisations and networks -Capacity building – open-days or running pre-volunteering courses -User-friendly recruitment – minimising form filling and replacing interviews with a ‘chat’ -Creating an inclusive environment – both social and physical -Fitting the job to the volunteer – modifying volunteer role to match the capabilities, needs and interests of individual volunteers -Providing meaningful support

7 Volunteering, Asylum and Health Implications Despite the potential impact of volunteering, it is not yet realising its potential Volunteering is itself subject to the forces of exclusion Volunteer involving-organisations (including educational institutions) face pressures against being inclusive There are a number of steps which volunteer-involving organisations can take to become more inclusive

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