Roles & Training

#COVID19 – As drop ins are currently suspended, volunteering for DASH is now mainly carried out remotely, by telephone. Roles include: ESOL helpers, Welfare Checkers, Interpreters, Distributors and Asylum Guides. Our future plans for volunteers at DASH will focus on our Asylum Guides project, in partnership with Refugee Action and funded by Comic Relief. Recruitment for Asylum Guides, which comes with a full free training, begins September 2020. For more info, please contact

Asylum Guides – do you want to be part of a team that empowers asylum seekers to take control of their asylum journey? In order for asylum seekers to be granted protection, they need to ensure they have a fair chance to tell their story. To do this, they need to understand the process and their rights within it. Asylum Guides are trained volunteers, paired up with newly-arrived asylum seekers to offer guidance and information at key stages of the asylum process. Full training and support. In light of Covid-19, virtual meetings will likely be necessary via Zoom. DBS and references required.


The list of roles below isn’t up to date due to #COVID19 changes. Get in touch for the latest volunteer information by contacting or use the link below. Please note: we ask all volunteers to undertake training in Safeguarding.

DROP INS (currently suspended)

There are many tasks that volunteers undertake at drop ins – some operational, some more holistic. We encourage all volunteers to get to know clients, to create a relaxed and trusting atmosphere. We also encourage clients to volunteer for DASH.

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, 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 tutors and clients attending the DASH English class.

ESOL Volunteers are encouraged to undertake training in: Safeguarding, Basic First Aid, Asylum Overview

Volunteer interpreters (also known as community interpreters) assist clients who speak little or no English, translating conversations, letters and official documents, and assisting the Asylum Caseworker 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.

OISC volunteers assist clients and the DASH Asylum Caseworker with matters relating to the UK asylum process. 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. All DASH personnel are prohibited from giving unregulated advice. Guidance on the important distinction between information and advice forms part of the mandatory training for this role, outlined here:

OISC volunteers are required to undertake training in: OISC (Level 1 as a minimum) and Safeguarding

OISC volunteers are encouraged to undertake training in 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.


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.

Organisers are encouraged to pay particular attention to the Health & Safety part of the DASH induction and to undertake training in: Safeguarding, Asylum Overview.

If you are a business and have specialist skills in a particular area, particularly marketing or law, that you’d be interested in helping us with, we’d love to hear from you. Please email the Volunteers Manager

"I love that while I'm helping, I'm learning too."

About us

We are OISC accredited to offer Asylum and Protection Advice at Level 2.
We do not offer legal advice. We help clients find solicitors.