What is the ‘Welcome Mentors’ project?
Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants are often vulnerable when placed in our communities, as they often lack the language and support networks to help them access services and integrate in the community.
The Welcome Mentor programme has been developed to offer a volunteer support/befriending service to help reduce some of the barriers and alleviate the feeling of isolation.
What support do the Welcome Mentors offer?
The Mentors are there to help refugees, asylum seekers and migrants settle in Kirklees and help them navigate through what can be a complicated process to starting again in new environment.
Mentors can also help provide the following:
- Access to NHS services including assisting with registering at medical centres, opticians and dental practices and help planning for visits to hospitals or specialist appointments
- Support and advice on how to access services such as food banks, migrant groups and legal advice
- Support to access English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) assessments and ESOL classes
- Assistance helping to identify and access community activity to support integration
- Help with housing applications and universal credit
We try to work flexibly and if there is another specific need, we are always open to exploring whether these needs can be met.
I’m interested in volunteering but I don’t have 10+ hours spare a week?
No problem, volunteers are asked to be a mentor for 2 – 4 hours per month.
Brilliant….but I feel as though I don’t have the skills to be a successful Mentor?
You will work with a co-ordinator from Third Sector Leaders (TSL) Kirklees to plan how best to support your mentee and you will also receive regular training and skills development to make the experience the best for both yourself and your mentee.
We will also aim to match you with someone who shares your language, heritage, hobbies and interests.
I want in, how can I apply to volunteer?
If you are interested in volunteering please complete the short application at Volunteering Kirklees: https://volunteeringkirklees.org.uk/job/third-sector-leaders-kirklees/
I know someone who would benefit from a mentor, who do I contact?
If you would like to refer a person for support you can access a referral form from Steffi.
Phone: 07425 444566
Community spirit was in full swing at Ravensthorpe Community Centre last week for the TSL Kirklees Migration Team’s Welcome Mentor training. It was an amazing turnout, with all 15 trainees wanting to be matched with a recent migrant, asylum seeker or refugee and help them feel welcome and settle in to life in Kirklees.
Steffi Rogers, Volunteer Co-ordinator said:
“It was a real celebration of migration and a positive step towards making people in Kirklees feel welcomed, settled and independent.”
And attendees said:
“I would like to do it because I would like to support people. I would be doing it as it’s rewarding and I would be helping people who deserve it.”
“Training was amazing!”
“Perfect, learnt lots.”