Refugee Peer Buddy Volunteer Opportunity (British Red Cross)

Refugee Peer Buddy Volunteer Opportunity (British Red Cross)

2019-02-26 RD Refugee Support – Peer Buddy Volunteer – FP

Role Description

About the British Red Cross

: Refugee Peer Buddy Volunteer (RS)

The British Red Cross helps millions of people in the UK and around the world to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies, disasters and conflicts.


We are part of the global Red Cross and Red Crescent humanitarian network and we refuse to ignore people in crisis.

About this service

The Red Cross has a long tradition of providing practical and emotional support to vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers in the UK. Our Refugee Support work with thousands of beneficiaries every year in around fifty different towns and cities enabling people to draw upon their own strengths to withstand crisis and rebuild their lives.

We support refugees and asylum-seekers in a range of ways, from providing emergency provisions for those facing severe hardship to giving advice on how people can access services to which they are entitled. These services are provided in a safe and welcoming environment. None of this important work would be possible without the skill and enthusiasm of volunteers helping in a variety of ways.

More details of our work with refugees[1] can be found on the Red Cross website:

About this role

You will  be working as part of the Family Reunion Integration Service. Family Reunion is a key legal route through which refugees obtain protection in the UK, and this project is the UK’s first national programme providing holistic integration support for reunited families.

As a peer buddy volunteer, you will  be providing orientation, befriending and cultural mediation support to newly arrived refugees.  In this context, cultural mediation involves using your shared lived experience to help facilitate communication and understanding between the newly arrived refugees and the local community/ key services they would be engaging with.

Location: Cardiff, Leeds or Sheffield

Reporting to: Project Coordinator

Hours: Half day once a week

Typical tasks may include:

  • Showing refugees where to find local amenities and how to access services such as healthcare and English classes
  • Providing introduction to community centres, activities and social events
  • Providing befriending support
  • Facilitating communication and understanding between the family member and local community/ services, including providing cultural advice and content were appropriate
  • Identifying and responding appropriately to safeguarding and protection issues with vulnerable clients, including children and vulnerable adults

What we are looking for

You need to have good interpersonal, diplomacy, communication and teamwork skills although full training will be given for any technical requirements. Also someone who is:


  • A good communicator with shared lived experience and understanding about the situation and needs of refugees
  • Knowledgeable about conflict and migration issues and sensitive to cultural issues, including those relating to gender
  • Able to use emotional support skills in a calm and responsible manner
  • Knowledge of local area and confidence to show those newly arrived around
  • Personally resilient as you may need to deal with difficult or challenging situations
  • Able to keep the service user at the heart of what you do, supporting the Red Cross to understand service user needs and the difference our role makes.
  • Able to speak good English; plus knowledge of a foreign language would be useful (particularly one used in the current local refugee population)
  • Willing to uphold the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and adhere to the Society’s Equal Opportunities Policy

What we offer

  • Access to relevant in-house training and development opportunities, including British Red Cross intranet site and e-learning facility
  • A full induction, support and supervision throughout your volunteering period
  • Valuable exposure to the work of the Red Cross in the UK and around the world
  • Reimbursement of reasonable out-of-pocket expenses when on duty
    • Being a volunteer for the British Red Cross means that you can proudly say you are part of the world’s largest humanitarian organisation.

Additional information

To volunteer for this role you must be aged 18 or over.

Core learning/requirements


  • Has been introduced to Line Manager and role description discussed
  • Has been given a H&S briefing pertinent to the site they will normally be operating from
  • Has been familiarised with any equipment required to carry out the role
  • Has received any workwear, if required for the role
  • British Red Cross Foundation Course e-module (IN-FCEL)
  • Foundation Course (IN-FC)
  • Safeguarding Awareness E-module for adults and children (SE-SACA-2018)
  • Refugee Support Core Knowledge (SE-RIE) sign off process
  • Local induction including on confidentiality, boundaries and lone working.
  • Providing befriending support

[1] We also work with a smaller number of people other than refugees and asylum-seekers who are vulnerable because of their migration status. However for the sake of brevity we use the terms refugees or asylum-seekers and refugees to encompass this group.