Time Together Volunteers
This year we trained 27 volunteers as mentors on our Time Together project, which supports asylum seekers and refugees in the West Midlands. This is a popular project with volunteers, some of whom have returned a second and even a third time to offer their support.
They have many reasons for wanting to mentor a refugee or an asylum seeker. Mostly it’s about wanting to welcome those who have been through the most harrowing of life circumstances and to show their fellow human beings kindness and compassion.
Our volunteers say they gain a much better understanding of issues affecting refugees and asylum seekers, which helps support community integration and break down barriers. We hope they will use their new-found knowledge and skills to access further opportunities.
Michael is a volunteer mentor on our Time Together project and spoke at an event we held at Westminster about wanting to repay the kindness he and his family received when they arrived in the UK in 1959.
He says: “I have learned new skills and developed new insights into the lives of asylum seekers and refugees. It has made me more active and it engages me with a wider group of people. Feedback from the guy I have been mentoring tells me that it has made a difference to him – he talks about being better informed, of being more confident, and more able to address the issues of isolation that many asylum seekers and refugees experience.”