Migrant Support: Integration through Volunteering and Learning

3. December 2018

United Peoples Volunteering Support is a peer support scheme run by Migrant Support, a charity based in Manchester UK.
The aim of the project is to help recent migrant arrivals including young refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable – isolated EU migrants who are struggling to access to services mainly because the language barrier and lack of network support. Some also face destitution, hardship, domestic abuse, isolation and mental health problems.

The Unified Peoples Volunteering Project team are formed by volunteers from diverse cultural heritage and help as translators, interpreters, befrienders and support advisors who had experience in the asylum and welfare system themselves. We also have volunteers who are native from Greater Manchester who help learners to improve their spoken English and also teach about local traditions.

Volunteers run a drop-in service once per week in the city centre and also outreach in the communities.
– ‘United Welfare Support’ team support with welfare benefits, housing – homelessness support, access to health and welfare services.
– ‘United Immigration Advise Support’ team who help with: Asylum support, asylum process, claiming asylum, immigration advice and referral and signposting to other solicitor firms and legal services colleagues.
– ‘United UK Residence Advise Support’ team assist with: Refugee travel documents (for those with refugee status only), naturalisation as British Citizen (adult), registration as British Citizen (child), lost BRP card, EEA residence cards for EEA national and their family members (including permanent residency), NLT and TOC (bio-metric residence card for those with visa in passport of paper document), and Leave in line application (for a child of a refugee born after parent is granted refugee status)

The Unified Peoples Volunteering Project increase volunteering opportunities for people from migrant communities (but not exclusively), second generation of migrants, Black minority ethnic groups and native British residents of Greater Manchester who are in long term unemployment to progress and improve their own current circumstances. Also, the project encourages participants to become champions sharing good practice on the wider community, raising awareness about migration issues and encouraging social cohesion, integration and self- reliance.

Image source: Migrant support