Get Involved

Taunton Welcomes Refugees was created by volunteers to help volunteers be effective as they offered neighbourly help to the refugees that live in their community. That purpose is still TWR’s core activity. Below are some of the ways that you can volunteer and help us continue our work. Although volunteer time is free (albeit highly valued), TWR does have other costs and we welcome donations to help us meet those obligations.

Volunteer

When refugees arrive they bring with them many issues. The challenge of integrating into a different society with a different language creates many more. The support they need to tackle these issues comes in many forms.

Whatever skills and time you can offer; there is probably someone who would appreciate your help. Below are some of the roles that volunteers have played so far. Please get in touch if you feel you could help with any of these; or anything else.

Trustee

TWR is run by a team of volunteer trustees. We would welcome new additions to the team. We would particularly welcome enquiries from someone with a refugee background. Ideally you will have time to help run the charity in specific areas, such as provision of English language teaching, arranging events or fund raising.  The trustees meet every month or so; we are currently meeting online. You will receive training on what being a trustee entails and on meeting and befriending people from other cultures. You will need to be DBS checked and provide references.

Befriender

Newly arrived families and individuals are often overwhelmed by all the changes in their life. A small group of volunteers can provide a friendly and trustworthy support in a sea of uncertainty and confusion. Just by spending time with them and showing them around their new town, they can gain the confidence they need to smoothly move to living an independent and fulfilling life in our society.

Teaching English

The most obvious hurdle that families face is learning English. This is a pre-requisite to doing many types of work and also engaging with local services such as schools and hospitals, and using the internet to buy goods and services.  If you have skills in teaching and in particular teaching English, then your help would be very useful. But even if you don’t want to do formal lessons, just spending time speaking in English with families gives them the practice and confidence they need to thrive.

Translation

If you can speak and write in Arabic or Kurdish then you can help us by providing both written and spoken translations of key communications that we need to ensure that all families understand correctly.

Website Maintenance

If you would be able to help with design or maintenance of this website, then please get in touch.

Donate

TWR primarily supports refugees through its volunteers who bring friendship and local knowledge. But the financial situation for refugees, as for many British families on low incomes, can be tight. As our volunteers work closely with families, groups and individuals, we are in a good position to identify occasions where a small amount of support can provide a large benefit. TWR has a fund that it can use to respond to such situations and offer small financial assistance. We can also pay for public transport for families located in Wellington or Bridgwater who are attending TWR events in Taunton.

Our friends at the West Somerset Refugee Support Group generously offer holidays in Minehead for refugee families. TWR is keen to support them in doing this and we also hope to be able to offer breaks to our supported refugees in the near future.  To be able to do all this we need financial support from people like you.

Additionally if you have any household items that are in good condition that you no longer need, TWR can offer them to refugees; if they would be useful, TWR will usually arrange to collect and deliver them.

Even though TWR is primarily a volunteer organisation, it does have expenses.

  • TWR employs a part-time administrator  to coordinate the work of the volunteers. This is our major expense.
  • Our volunteers are trained over several weekend sessions which require the hire of  suitable venue.
  • We provide DBS clearance and insurance for our volunteers so all parties can focus on our key activities.
  • We maintain this website.
  • Occasionally we need to use skilled translators and interpreters to ensure that refugees fully understand a situation.

TWR meets these costs entirely through charitable donations. If you are able to support us then we would be very grateful. If you are a UK income tax payer then we can increase any personal donations by 25% if you complete a Gift Aid form. We can accept donations as cheques (payable to ‘Taunton Weclomes Refugees’) or BACS.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss how we could use your donation.

Fund Raising

TWR has done some fund raising such as the sale of Christmas Cards. But we are always open to suggestions of other ways that we can supplement our income.

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