Working one-to-one with local asylum seekers is central to what we do. 

Our visitors offer friendship and support, typically meeting someone who is seeking asylum once a week for about an hour.  The visitor provides a listening ear for the asylum seeker’s hopes and fears, problems and sadness.  They also organise specific support as needs arise, such as helping an asylum seeker:

  • Attend medical and other appointments
  • Get the right legal advice
  • Find his or her way around local transport and facilities
  • Find a class to learn English, or link with a SWVG teacher
  • Apply for educational grants

or accompanying them, for example to court hearings.

Although the role can be a demanding and sometimes daunting , many find it hugely fulfilling. It requires:

  • About an hour a week with the client, plus time for preparation, follow-up, seeking advice and support meetings – usually about 4 hours a week
  • The ability to work both as a member of a team and also on your own initiative
  • Good communication skills
  • Practical problem-solving skills
  • The ability to maintain confidentiality
  • A degree of emotional resilience

To become a Visitor you have to undertake our training. We offer a wealth of support including:

  • Comprehensive initial training
  • Web-site material for ongoing reference
  • Support and advice from the Coordinators and from an experienced colleague who acts as mentor and backup visitor
  • Regular visitors’ support meetings for problem-solving and sharing knowledge and experiences
  • SWVG meetings on topical issues approximately every two months
  • Opportunities for ongoing training and to attend conferences as required

If you’d like to apply to be a volunteer visitor, here’s the SWVG Volunteer Application Form. Fill it in and send it to info@SWVG-refugees.org.uk

Read about the experience of some of our visitors

 Pages in this section:

Get involved

Become a visitor

Join one of our groups

Become a friend

Make a donation


Working with an asylum seeker at the Avenue Multicultural CentreWorking with an asylum seeker at the Avenue Multicultural Centre


Vanessa chats to an asylum seeker after a fundraising concertVanessa Redgrave chats to an asylum seeker after a fundraising concert