by Holly Taylor, Task Volunteers Coordinator
We are really proud to have launched our new Task Volunteering role at the beginning of this year. Volunteers provide support to families from refugee backgrounds, helping them learn how to carry out both unique and everyday tasks in their new environment so that they can become independent in the future. Task volunteering is a great opportunity for volunteers to get involved with their local community, by getting to know families and other volunteers in their area. It is lovely to see welcoming communities and new friendships blossom.
The task volunteer hubs we run work in partnership with the Bristol City Council Resettlement Scheme, coming alongside refugees who have fled war and persecution and are looking to create a new life here in Bristol. The Bridges team and the Resettlement Support Workers are on hand to provide expert guidance to volunteers when needed.
Over the first few months, there has been a wide range of tasks available for volunteers, including resolving queries with utility bills and schools, booking and escorting individuals to medical appointments and college assessments, and developing CV’s for job applications. Volunteers have also been able to share gardening and DIY advice, and support new mums with shopping for essential items.
Since the role began in March, we have 41 trained volunteers who have between them spent an impressive 170 hours supporting the families we work with across the city. We continue to train new volunteers to join each of our 8 postcode hubs. As we enrol more volunteers in the coming months, we will continue to build strong community connections and empower those new to our wonderful city to work towards independence and towards full participation in all aspects of life here.
“Volunteering for Bridges has given me a feeling of connection to people in my community I wouldn’t usually get to know as well as a sense of purpose and feeling useful.” – Rosie, BS5 Hub Volunteer
“It’s such an enjoyable role” – BS13/14 Task hub volunteer
“Our team has really benefited from having volunteers to help our clients with tasks which support workers don’t have capacity to complete. It’s a great opportunity for clients to meet someone new, practice their English and learn how to complete tasks themselves with the help of the volunteers.” – Gaele Spacey, BCC Resettlement Scheme Support Worker
We are looking for more volunteers to expand our support hubs, particularly in the BS9/1011, BS13/14 and BS16 hubs; if you would like more information about the role please email Holly or visit Get Involved on our website to sign up for our next training sessions.