This list of roles isn’t exhaustive. We’re always open to new ideas and offers of help. The training referred to below is provided via induction and our Volunteer Development Programme. As a general rule, we encourage all volunteers to undertake training in: Basic Child & Adult Safeguarding, Asylum Overview. These courses can be booked via the link above.
Roles & Training
There are many tasks that volunteers undertake at drop ins – some operational, some more holistic. We encourage all volunteers to get to know our clients, in order to create a relaxed and trusting atmosphere.
Admin volunteers assist DASH staff with tasks including printing, data input, producing client notices & publicity leaflets. Some tasks can be done outside of drop ins, which makes this a good role for people unable to attend due to work or other commitments.
Admin volunteers are required to sign a Confidentiality Agreement and are inducted in how to work in compliance with GDPR.
One of our most important roles, volunteer befrienders are needed both at drop ins and outside of them. Befriending involves a variety of tasks including: home visits, general form filling (not casework), referrals and signposting, accompanying clients to appointments and other trips, and getting to know clients to alleviate social isolation and aid integration.
Volunteer befrienders are encouraged to undertake training in Safeguarding, Asylum Overview, Life After Leave, Asylum Guides, Welcome Mentors. A full induction is given. Some Befriending tasks require a DBS check.
Donations handlers sort and sift through donated goods, ensuring that drop in clients have ready access to what is available, siphoning any specific items for designated clients where an identification of need has been made.
Donations handlers are given a full induction.
ESOL volunteers assist tutor(s) and clients attending English classes.
ESOL Volunteers are encouraged to undertake training in: Safeguarding, Basic First Aid, Asylum Overview
Finance volunteers help with dispensing cash and expenses payments to clients and volunteers, filing receipts and recording all transactions.
Finance volunteers are encouraged to undertake training in: Safeguarding and Asylum Overview. A full induction is given.
Volunteer interpreters (also known as community interpreters) assist clients who speak little or no English, translating conversations, letters and official documents, and assisting the OISC Immigration Advisor in ensuring that clients understand and are understood.
Volunteer interpreters are required to sign a Confidentiality Agreement and are encouraged to undertake training in: Community Interpreting (accredited), Safeguarding, Asylum Overview.
Immigration support volunteers assist clients and the OISC Immigration Adviser with matters relating to casework. OISC (Office of Immigration Services Commissioner) is the body that regulates immigration advice. This is to protect asylum seekers from bad, misguided or unqualified advice. Immigration support volunteers are prohibited from giving unregulated advice but can give general support including requests for travel tickets.
Immigration support volunteers are required to undertake training in: OISC (Level 1 as a minimum), Safeguarding, Asylum Overview, Life After Leave, Asylum Guides, Welcome Mentors.
Receptionists greet all visitors to the drop in with a friendly welcome, signing them in and out, and directing new clients to the triage personnel.
Reception volunteers receive a full induction.
Kitchen volunteers help prepare a cooked meal for up to 100 people, washing up and cleaning down after service. They are supervised by a kitchen volunteer who is trained in Food Safety to Level 2.
Kitchen volunteers receive a full induction and are encouraged to undertake training in Food Safety Levels 1 & 2.
Triage volunteers carry out a brief assessment of need, to ensure that new clients are directed to the appropriate support services within DASH and externally. Triage volunteers will also do basic form-filling (not casework) and referrals.
Triage volunteers receive a full induction and are encouraged to undertake training in: Safeguarding, Asylum Overview, Life After Leave, Asylum Guides
OUTSIDE DROP INS
See Admin and Befriending above
Volunteer drivers are essential to our service and carry out a variety of tasks. If you are able, please consider driving for us. The wider the pool of volunteer drivers, the less you’ll be called upon. Tasks include: taking clients to important appointments (solicitor, Home Office, court, hospital) and collection/delivery of donated items (eg food, baby goods). All expenses are reimbursed.
Volunteer drivers are required to produce the following before driving for DASH: driver’s licence, MOT, insurance documents. Drivers should inform their insurers of their role for DASH. This shouldn’t affect the cost of your cover. Here is a list of insurance companies that don’t charge extra for volunteer driving (from the Association of British Insurers):
Some driving roles require a DBS check (where the task is defined as a Regulated Activity). Drivers will never be asked to carry children without their parent/carer present. DASH has a range of car-seats available to borrow, in accordance with UK law.
Volunteer Drivers are given a full induction outlining our policies and procedures, and are encouraged to undertake training in: Safeguarding, Asylum Overview.
A volunteer organiser takes the lead on organising an event for DASH. It might be a fundraiser, an awareness-raiser or a leisure trip for clients.
Organizers are encouraged to pay particular attention to the Health & Safety part of the DASH induction and to undertake training in: Safeguarding, Asylum Overview.