WERS is a registered charity working with refugees and asylum seekers living in the west end of Newcastle.
A variety of support services are delivered in a friendly and welcoming environment. The range of services aims to address disadvantage, exclusion and poverty which affects asylum seekers and refugees.
Services include drop-in advice services, home visits, counselling service, befriending scheme, clothing store and hardship fund.
Volunteers are required for a variety of activities/services:
• Befriending – visiting refugee/asylum seeker families/individually in their own homes offering friendship and support. Helping them to access local services and to familiarise them with their local community.
• Support Work – welcome clients to the daily drop-in advice sessions. Give clients time to talk about their problems and where possible offer advice and support. Give weekly support – food parcels to destitute clients/liaise with other local agencies and organisations, maintain client files.
• Admin work – filing, spreadsheets, IT, updating and maintaining mailing labels, reprographics, reception duties.
• English Support – improving English language skills and conversational skills on one to one basis.
Skills Acquisition : WERS offer volunteers the opportunity to meet clients from all over the world and to hear about situations which have forced clients to flee their country and seek sanctuary in the UK.
Volunteers learn about the UK asylum processes, its shortcomings and how legislation impacts on the life of asylum seekers.
Personal development is an important element of the volunteer project and volunteers are given the opportunity to undergo both in-house training and training courses delivered externally.
Training has included sessions on the new asylum model, personal safety, listening skills and self awareness and working with survivors of torture.