Befriending Volunteer

Refugees Welcome North Somerset

Name: Befriending Volunteer
Organisation: Refugees Welcome North Somerset
Type: Part Time
Various locations in North Somerset. You will be linked to a refugee family or individual local to you. This role is suitable for someone who is looking for a long-term opportunity. We’re looking for people who are happy to volunteer on a flexible basis as needs arise. We will aim to link volunteers with refugee families and individuals who are local to them.


If you love meeting people and want to help welcome refugees to the local area, this could be the role for you.

We’re looking for friendly, sensitive and proactive people to volunteer as befrienders. Volunteers will be linked with a family or individual and will be available at times to suit. You’ll need to complete training and have an up-to-date DBS check (which RWNS will organise).

Your role might include:

• Accompanying families or individuals to appointments, to help deal with the processes and provide support
• Giving help and advice about local groups and services available, how to get involved and support in attending
• Listening to what individuals have to say and what they would like to do
• Offering companionship to address the isolation of arriving in a new place
• Helping with information and advice about our local culture and community
• Helping to practice language skills
• Regular check-ins with volunteer coordinator and peer support with other volunteers

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Organisation Description

We are regular people in North Somerset who welcome regular people displaced from their homes around the world. We do this through our befriending service, our welcome cafe and other projects.

Since 2016, we have been befriending families who arrive in our area through one of the government’s resettlement schemes.

By mid 2021, there were 12 families from Syria living in North Somerset. Since autumn 2021, we have welcomed five families from Afghanistan and have met unaccompanied young people. We are now preparing to welcome people who have fled from Ukraine.


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Cause / Interests

  • Race and Ethnicity and Refugees

Types of Activity

  • Advice, Information and Support
  • Befriending and Buddying

Skills and Qualifications


Friendly and sensitive individuals who can spend time getting to know their matched families.
It will require good listening skills, patience and a sense of humour.
Experience of teaching ESOL would be useful but not at all essential.


This is an opportunity to make friends with newly arrived families and other befrienders.
You will get to see our local area from a different perspective.
You may also have the opportunity to appreciate different language, food and coffee.

Additional/Specific Suitabilities

Minimum Age: 18
Maximum Age: NA
Disabled Access: Yes
Wheelchair Access: Yes
Expenses: For certain appointments
Restrictions: None
Induction: Opportunity to shadow experienced befriender.
Insurance Cover: N/A
Special Needs: Can be discussed.
Offer: Ongoing support with RWNS
Training: Cultural Awareness; Trauma awareness
Other: NA

Recruitment Method

Application form, DBS Check, Informal discussion, References