Volunteers are central to enabling MRSN to undertake all aspects of its work. There are a range of different projects that you can be involved in. Some of the roles need a regular commitment each week, whereas others are more occasional. We particularly welcome refugees and asylum seekers who wish to volunteer at MRSN. All volunteers receive induction training and ongoing support with further training opportunities offered as needed for different roles.
Volunteering roles at MRSN
The work of all our projects is supported by volunteers:
Our Advice Services
MRSN`s advice service offers advice on welfare benefits and tax credits, debt, housing, asylum support and access to health services to refugees and asylum seekers in Manchester. It runs drop-in advice sessions and appointments. Volunteers support the advice service through reception work, administration, advice support, and interpreting for clients who don`t speak English. Advice support staff provide basic information and make telephone calls on behalf of clients. Volunteers may also undertake an advocacy role for clients, accompanying them to appointments and interpreting if necessary.
Volunteers can also train to give advice: we can arrange training in advice skills, welfare rights, health, asylum support, and other issues. Volunteers need to be available for at least nine months to make this worth while.
You will need to be available for a minimum of 6 months. Good spoken English is needed for all roles. Good written English is needed for advice and form filling. Volunteers who speak Kurdish, Arabic, Somali or other refugee languages are particularly needed.
One of MRSN`s core roles is supporting Refugee Community Organisations (RCOs) to become strong and independent through our community development project. MRSN has a membership of 21 RCOs and is in contact with around 40 in Greater Manchester. MRSN is currently seeking to develop the role of volunteers in this area of work, for which there is a great demand. Volunteers might support new RCOs with the tasks involved in setting up a new organisation or in developing projects and activities. Or they could assist in providing information through MRSN`s bi-monthly newsletter for RCOs or its Directory of RCOs.
You will need to be available for a minimum of 5 hours a week for at least 6 months. This role will need good spoken and written English.
Refugee and Migrant Forum Manchester (The Forum)
Aims to enable refugees and asylum seekers to express the needs and aspirations of their communities and to play a part in influencing policy in the city of Manchester and across the UK. The Forum works to improve the treatment of people going through the asylum system and campaigns on a range of issues affecting refugees and asylum seekers. For instance it is currently supporting the Refugee Council and TUC with a national campaign for the right to work for asylum seekers. Volunteers can support the Forum Worker with administration, research and with organising and running events.
You will need to be committed to working to improve the rights of asylum seekers and refugees, speak and write good English, have good IT skills and be available for 7 hours a week for at least 6 months, including some evenings.
MRSN admin support
The role of volunteers in the different projects can involve admin support to the project and to MRSN as an organisation, including reception and answering the phone. In addition, volunteers with IT skills are particularly useful.Volunteers are an important part of our organisation.
As well as vacancies on our Manchester Volunteer Advice Partnership project, we have vacancies for volunteers for the following specific roles. You would need to be available for at least 6 months:
1- Somali and Persian (Farsi) speaking advice reception and interpreting volunteers – to undertake reception duties and/or interpreting support for the MRSN advice service.Skills/experience needed:
- Good spoken English and Somali or Farsi
- Good communication and interpersonal skills and confidence to deal with the public
- Basic admin skills and ability to undertake simple tasks on behalf of clients
2-Reception/admin volunteer – to provide reception cover for MRSN`s office dealing with people contacting MRSN on the phone or in person; assisting the finance/admin worker with setting up and maintainenance of good admin systems; general admin support to MRSN office and projectsskills/experience needed:
- Good interpersonal and communication skills in person and on the phone
- Good spoken and written English
- Good IT skills
- Admin experience and understanding of admin systems
3- MRSN Directory volunteer – to update and produce the MRSN Annual Directory of Refugee Community Organisations and Support Agencies and maintain and update the Directory on the MRSN website.Skills/experience needed:
- Good planning and organisation skills and ability to work on own intitiative
- Good spoken and written English
- Ability to liaise effectively with refugee organisations and service providers
- Good IT skills and preferably experience in producing documents and using desktop publishing and database packages.
4- Volunteer Fundraiser – be part of a fundraising group to organise events and activities to generate income to support the work of MRSN e.g. refugee food/music/cultural events etcSkills/experience needed:
- Energy, enthusiasm, creativity, organisational skills
- Previous experience of fundraising would be a bonus
How to apply to be a volunteer
If you are interested in one of our current vacancies please download the Volunteer Application Form
(Note: After clicking the link above, the form needs to be opened from the bottom of the screen.
Also, it is probably better to print it, complete it and scan it back to MRSN).
and either email it to Belay@mrsn.org.uk or post it to us at MRSN, 129 Princess Road, Moss side, Manchester, M14 4RB.
Thank you for your interest in volunteering at MRSN.