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Could you spare room to host a refugee, migrant or asylum seeker in your home?

Support volunteers needed for Sanctuary Hosting

Volunteer Host Role
Sanctuary Hosting matches destitute asylum seekers, refugees and vulnerable migrants to people who are willing to have someone to stay with them rent free, for a pre-defined period of time, while the individual is receiving support to explore routes out of destitution.

A ‘host’ is someone who generously accommodates a refugee, migrant or asylum seeker – a ‘guest’ – in their own home. This is usually in a spare room.

How does it work?
It is up to the host to decide how long they are willing to accommodate someone. This could be for just a few days or considerably longer. People host in all sorts of different ways and we aim to be as flexible as possible. You can decide your own living arrangements with your guest – for example, whether or not to share meals. If you go on holiday, expect visitors or just want a break, we can arrange for the guest to move to another host and many guests stay with several different hosts while they are on the scheme.

Who are the guests?
Individuals need to meet our eligibility criteria before joining the scheme. When we receive a referral, we meet with the person and obtain two references. Each guest is required to work with other services to resolve their situation, including progressing an asylum or immigration case.

How do I become a host?
First, please talk through the implications of hosting with anyone living with you, including children, and make sure they are on board. Then complete the host application form on our website. When we receive your application, we will arrange to meet at your home for an informal interview, to answer questions you may have about hosting, and to look at the accommodation you are able to offer. After this, if both you and Sanctuary Hosting decide to go ahead, we will ask for two references and a DBS (criminal record) check, which Sanctuary Hosting will pay for. You will also need to attend our induction training, which is usually on a Saturday.

Taking on a guest
When we have a guest we would like to place, we will contact you and tell you a bit about the person. Then an introductory meeting is arranged between host and guest, along with a Sanctuary Hosting support worker. After the introduction, we ask hosts to take a day to consider if they are happy to proceed with the placement.

What support would I get?
We allocate a volunteer support worker to every host and every guest, who ensure that both host and guest feel well supported and have someone outside the hosting placement to talk to. Guest support workers also get involved in practical ways, perhaps helping someone join the library or find English lessons, as this is not part of the host’s role – hosts do more than enough by providing accommodation!

More FAQs for hosts: https://bit.ly/2Dyc32e

Download host application form here: https://bit.ly/2VnM6g2

Contact person firstname
Sarah Wahby, Service Manager
Contact person's position
Their phone number?
07818 555986
Contact instructions?
weekdays during office hours

Location description
Across Reading (also needed in Oxford and MK)
Wheelchair accessible?
Not specified
Car parking for the volunteer?
Not specified
Secure bicycle parking?
Not specified
Near public transport?
Not specified
How much time?
A few hours a month
What times and days of the week?
Availability required
Any of these times
Additional timing details
Apart from move in/ out, you won't have any particular time commitments
Task type?
Will suit someone like this:
Enjoys variety and changeGood sense of humourSociablePatientSupportiveCommunicatorEmotionally robust
Post suitable for supported volunteering?
Not specified
Is training given?
Training description
A days induction training, usually on a Saturday
Is support given?
Description of support
You will be allocated a Host Support Worker, who will link between you and Sanctuary Hosting
Are expenses paid?
Will I need my own transportation?
Will the volunteer be CRB or DBS checked?
Are references required?
Will there be an interview?
Are they properly insured?
Minimum age
Do they need a specific gender?
How many volunteers needed?

Read more about Sanctuary Hosting