Refugee Week takes place every year across the world in the week around World Refugee Day on the 20 June. In the UK, Refugee Week 2017 falls within 19th -25th June.
Refugee Week is a nationwide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of people seeking sanctuary to the UK, and encourages a better understanding between communities.
In January 2017, Swansea City of Sanctuary held a workshop inviting organisations with extensive experience of supporting volunteers including those who are seeking sanctuary. The best practice discussed and concerns raised, set the seed for the development of an information sheet to be shared nationally.
Julia Manser, SCVS Volunteering Services team and Eleri Williams SwanseaCity of Sanctuary Development Worker designed the information sheet to offer practical support in developing welcoming volunteer management procedures & highlighting challenges faced by those seeking sanctuary.
Eleri Williams said:
We recognise that one of many ways people seeking sanctuary contribute to the UK is through volunteering, despite strict conditions governing this. Swansea City of Sanctuary is part of a UK-wide social movement developing a culture of welcome and hospitality for people seeking sanctuary, and has worked in partnership with Swansea CVS to develop a guidance sheet about involving and supporting people seeking sanctuary who wish to volunteer.
Julia Manser said:
To mark Refugee Week this information sheet is being launched to provide assistance about how best to involve and support volunteers who may be seeking sanctuary. We hope this information sheet is valuable to all organisations and volunteer coordinators who want to involve people seeking sanctuary in their activities.
The information sheet can be downloaded here.
Supporting volunteers who are seeking sanctuary