Research details

A part of society. Refugees and asylum seekers volunteering in the UK. A report based on case studies of ten organisations

Author[s] Wilson, Ruth and Lewis, Hannah

Date 2006



The report aims to help policy makers, volunteer managers and a wide range of organisations to do more to enable refugees and people seeking asylum to take part in high quality volunteering opportunities across the UK.


The research included background reading, three focus groups with professionals and case studies of ten organisations outside the refugee sector that are involving refugees and people seeking asylum as volunteers, including two in Yorkshire and Humber [Leeds and Sheffield]. The case studies included interviews with 33 refugees and people seeking asylum.

Key issues

The report includes an outline of the policy context; findings on getting started, recruitment, volunteering, leaving volunteering and follow on; and ten case studies. Key issues include raising awareness among refugees and people seeking asylum of volunteering, raising awareness among organisations that refugees can volunteer and how to reach them, Criminal Records Bureau [CRB] checks, supporting the pioneering volunteer, integration, adequate resourcing, the role of the volunteer coordinator, the role of intermediary organisations, improving work opportunities, offering worthwhile experiences to all and volunteering by young people.


Recommendations are aimed at the government, intermediary organisations, funders, volunteering organisations including public sector bodies, and social workers and young peoples' advocates. They cover promoting volunteering, funding to build diversity, sharing good practice, reviewing CRB check processes, and actively enabling young refugees to volunteer.

Further details

Resource type
Published by
Tandem Communications and Research Ltd, Leeds

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