Our volunteers give their time freely to support every single team and department across Scottish Refugee Council. We are very grateful for their contribution, which increases our capacity to work with refugees and people seeking asylum.
We believe in offering meaningful placements for our volunteers to gain new skills and connections. We are especially committed to creating volunteering opportunities for refugees and people at all stages of the asylum process.
By volunteering with us, you can get involved in interesting areas of work alongside dynamic team members, access training and development opportunities, gain first-hand understanding of the UK work environment and ultimately, make a positive difference in people’s lives. We will provide the training you will need to carry out your volunteer role, and reimburse your travel and lunch expenses, so that you will not be out of pocket.
We also work with charities and public sector organisations who would like involve refugee volunteers in their work. Our monthly Volunteering Information Afternoons bring refugees and volunteer involving organisations together in a sociable, informal environment where our volunteering team is at hand to offer support and answer questions.
The Home Office states that “asylum seekers can volunteer whilst their claim is considered without being granted permission to work. It is Home Office policy to support asylum seekers volunteering for charities or public sector organisations” (Permission to work and volunteering for asylum seekers Version 9.0, Published for Home Office staff on 31 December 2020). Download the Home Office policy on asylum seekers and volunteering.
In fact, volunteering activity (including travelling to and from volunteering and training events) can constitute 17.5 hours of the 35 hours a week of meaningful activity required by your Claimant Commitment at the Job Centre. Download the DWP guidance on volunteering while on benefits (PDF doc, 230 kb)
Once you have found a role that is of interest, you should complete an application form which will be available when we recruit and then send it (by email, by post or in person) by the specified closing date. Please note that we do not accept CVs.
After the application deadline, all submitted applications are passed on for shortlisting to the teams who the volunteers will eventually be supporting. The applications are then reviewed to determine who will be shortlisted and invited to a volunteer recruitment session. It is important that you complete all sections of the application.
If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to attend a volunteer recruitment session. At the moment, all recruitment and information sessions take place online – this will be reviewed according to government guidelines.
Staff from various teams will lead the recruitment session activities, which can include working in small groups and/or an informal interview.
This session is also an opportunity for you to meet with members of staff and find out more about volunteering with us.
After the volunteer recruitment session, successful candidates are matched to suitable volunteer roles.
Please note that we normally have more applicants than roles available. If you are not chosen for the role you applied for, please feel free to apply for our next round of volunteer recruitment. We will also give you guidance about searching for volunteer roles in other refugee sector organisations.
Once you have been matched to a suitable role, we will invite you to attend a volunteer induction online. This will include an overview of our organisation and our main policies and procedures. We will also complete some paperwork to formally register you as a volunteer with Scottish Refugee Council.
All our volunteers are also invited to a training session on working with asylum seekers and refugees – this is an online session over two mornings. Any team induction or training that may be organised by your respective teams will follow your induction and initial training.
Our volunteer development coordinators will tell you about your volunteer induction and training days as soon as possible, and your start days will be organised directly by your team leaders.
As you may be required to work with vulnerable people at Scottish Refugee Council, you will need to undergo a Disclosure Scotland check. More details will be provided about the check at the volunteer induction session.