Welcome Mentors

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?

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.

We currently have over 100 active volunteers, between them they speak approx. 50 languages, our volunteers have lived experience of the difficulties faced by people with English as a second language, using their additional languages and training they can support people to feel settled and welcome in their new community

Welcome Mentors can provide support in person or over the telephone, whichever you are comfortable with, they also support at group activity throughout Kirklees

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 on how to access services such as food and clothing 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 and wellbeing
  • General befriending over the phone and/or in person

We are always on the lookout for new volunteers and are keen to hear from people with an additional language, to enquire about volunteering or to refer someone into the Welcome Mentor service, please contact steffi@tslkirklees.org.uk

Volunteering Training

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.”

Training handbook for telephone based mentors and online training which is a great way to get over the issue in not being able to physically deliver. The handbook also includes COVID 19 guidelines for the Telephone Welcome Mentors. This handbook to is train telephone based mentors online, which is a great way to overcome over the issue in not being able to physically deliver
Welcome Mentors – safeguarding training presentation.