Diocese of Chichester

Voices in Exile works with refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants with no recourse to public funds across the Diocese.

Welcome Churches as been set up to help churches welcome refugees into their communities and parishes.

Safe Passage (in collaboration with Citizen’s UK) website will be able to give advice on what help is available for refugees and asylum seekers.

There are also many local communities working to resettle and befriend refugees who are coming to the UK under the government’s resettlement scheme. They are responsible for overseeing the resettlement of refugees under the Government programme and they will be able to give more advice regarding the needs in each community.

In East Sussex, ESCAFA there is a network of volunteers which draws together all those involved in the resettlement of refugees.

Across the Diocese volunteering opportunities are:

  • Support workers. People who have work experience of doing support work for refugees and/or asylum seekers who would be willing to use their skills with the families we support
  • Arabic speaking interpreters. People to be available during the week to interpret and facilitate the supporters
  • Arabic speakers. Befrienders who can speak Arabic to enable refugees to have easy communication and informal English conversation.
  • ESOL trained teachers. Refugees need ten hours per week of ESOL lessons initially; then five hours a week up to nine months. ESOL teachers will need to monitor progress, and may need to liaise with other ESOL teachers
  • Qualified trauma counsellors. Syrian refugees may need trauma counselling after they have arrived. Counsellors must be suitably qualified.
  • Decorators/DIY skills. Help may be needed to make homes suitable for a new family.
  • General Volunteers. People willing to help out in a whole variety of ways e.g. transport, befriending, trips out etc.
  • Money. £5000 per refugee adult per year.
  • Accommodation. Landlords or property owners willing to house Syrian refugees for up to 2 years with housing benefit. Syrians are fully supported during this time. Housing needs to be self-contained, with its own front door, and at least 2 bedrooms.
  • Food and Household Items. After each family arrives, donations are very welcome.