Advocacy & Support Volunteer
Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group
Purpose of the Job
To support and assist GDWG staff in providing
a high standard of service to detainees.
Main Areas of Responsibility
Supporting the office staff team in:
- Responding to messages and answering telephone calls from detainees
- Providing telephone support to detainees who need ongoing emotional support
Responding to initial needs and prioritising urgent cases
This work typically includes:
Providing telephone credit
Explaining the role of GDWG to new detainees who contact us and gaining their trust
Referring detainees to other organisations (e.g. Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID), community groups)
Liaising with solicitors and other professionals – such as doctors and social workers.
Assisting detainees to make complaints about mistreatment
General administrative duties
Updating the database with relevant information
Contacting people who might have left detention and recording this information accordingly
Sorting clothes and responding to detainees’ requests for items
Assisting staff in running drop-ins
No formal qualifications or experience are required to apply to become a volunteer with the Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group. However, because of the stressful nature of the work and the vulnerability of the people who we befriend, there are some personal qualities that we feel are essential for a volunteer to possess:
Concern - for the welfare of asylum seekers and Immigration Act detainees.
Emotional Strength – an ability to cope with difficult and sometimes distressing situations, and to speak with someone who may be confused, angry or frightened. A willingness to support someone whose problems you may not be able to solve.
Empathy – an ability to understand things from a detained person’s point of view.
Integrity - an understanding of the importance of confidentiality and trust and a commitment to acting always in the best interests of a detained person.
Listening skills – an ability to listen actively and non-judgementally and to allow people in detention the space to fully express how they are feeling/how GDWG can help them.
Sensitivity – to different points of view, other cultures and religions.
Boundaries – a realistic understanding of your limitations, both emotionally and practically.
Readiness to learn - a willingness to undertake training as required by the group.
Supportiveness – both towards detainees and other members of GDWG. You are encouraged to attend support group meetings and share your experiences with other volunteers.
Good oral communication skills – ability to communicate with people whose first language is not English.
Reliability – it is important that GDWG should be able to rely on Volunteer Caseworkers to inform us of when they will be in the office.
Commitment – we ask for a minimum commitment of a year.
The opportunity to support detainees and asylum seekers in desperate circumstances.
The opportunity to gain experience of casework, advocacy and administration in an important field.
The opportunity to meet detainees and learn more about their situation and experiences, and to meet people who are passionate and knowledgeable about this cause.
When do I need to be available?
|Details||At least one half-day per week during normal office hours (approximately 10-4, Monday-Friday).|
Where does this role take place?
The Orchard, 1-2 Gleneagles Court
- Black and Minority Ethnic Communities
- Civic Responsibility and Communities
- Health and Social Care
- Mental Health
- Administration and Office
- Advice and Information
- General Helping
- Supporting Charities
- Supporting People and Befriending
- Disabled Access
- Equal Opportunities Policy or Statement
- Health and Safety
- Insurance Cover for Volunteers
- Appropriate for (e.g. 18+, LGBT, BME, Women only)
- Support on Offer