Many individuals and community groups have asked how they can help or have offered help. Below you will find a link to a Register of Interest form for Voluntary Community Support. This form is to ensure we keep a clear record of offers of community support and so that we can ensure appropriate safeguarding mechanisms are in place.
CLICK HERE FOR THE REGISTER OF INTEREST FORM
This is not an appeal for money and anyone wishing to make financial donations can contact us directly by email or phone -
firstname.lastname@example.org or 028 90325835
Or click here for more information
Importantly it is also not an offer of funding – your offer of community support is entirely voluntary.
Can individuals register?
We are keen that individuals can volunteer, but we also need individuals to understand that because the refugees are a vulnerable group of people we can only accept offers of community support from constituted or recognised organisations. If you are an individual wishing to volunteer you need to:
- Find an established organisation who are happy to have you volunteer through them.
- Be ACCESS NI vetted by the organisation.
- For a list of volunteer roles available within the Consortium and the partner organisations we are already working with, please see our Volunteer Opportunities Catalogue.
Why is the Community Support Scheme being put in place?
The aim of ‘Community Support’ is to provide relevant ways for refugees to feel welcome, understand the local area and find out about local services. It is also for local communities to understand issues around migration and refugees and to have the opportunity to explain their services to refugees.
What type of voluntary Community Support is needed?
- Donations for Starter Packs - schoolbags/stationery for school children, toys, baby clothes, packs of underwear for all ages, coats, umbrellas.
- Vouchers – Those will be allocated by the team of key workers working individually with the families and in accordance to needs e.g. locally accessible supermarket, chemists, etc
- Awareness of Local Services – Refugees need to understand how society and its services work. This could be a statutory or community service. Your organisation could come to speak to the refugees about your service or offer to host them to come and see your service eg. Library, community centre, advice services, health and wellbeing etc
- Socialising / Networking – Refugees need places and opportunities to interact in safe settings with each other and with the wider community. Does your organisation have an existing space and small group of people who meet e.g. A coffee morning, a book club, a women’s group, a cooking demonstration?
- Local Cultural Awareness – Refugees need to understand local culture. Could your group offer a free cultural experience or a free visit to a local tourist attraction?
- Apprenticeships/Volunteering / Employment - Refugees will come with particular skills and interests for the world of work, but may need support to adjust here. Would your organisation be able to offer a short supportive apprenticeship or volunteering or employment experience?
- Sport, Music, Dance - Is your organisation experienced in this field? Could you offer an hour or two’s activity for adults and youth?
- Facilities- Do you have a large community space that you could offer for free for a day or an evening or weekend to host any of the support/sponsorship activities mentioned
- Transport – Could you offer a bus, buses or mini-buses to help transporting the refugees (with disability access if possible) e.g. to and from events, to accommodation arrangements and in order to help distribute donations etc
This list is not exhaustive or definitive so please feel free to offer any additional form of support or sponsorship that you may be able to provide.
TO REGISTER YOUR OFFER OF COMMUNITY SUPPORT PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR THE REGISTER OF INTEREST FORM
What happens after my organisation registers?
Your registration form will be acknowledged by email. The Consortium coordination will then be compiling a list of the offers of Community Support individually tailored to each group of refugees arriving through the VPR scheme. Once the refugees have settled in, the Consortium will liaise with them and their designated key workers to show them the community support offers. The interests and needs of the refugees will then be foremost in deciding which offers of community support will be followed up on.
The Consortium cannot offer any guarantee that all offers of community support will be followed up on. It is vital that the needs of this vulnerable group of people are paramount in work developed with them.