Introducing Volunteers Week at HMSC

Prior to the pandemic, HMSC ran a drop-in, where visitors could have a hot meal, socialise and receive advice on immigration, health and welfare. This was chiefly possible due to volunteers, committing their time and skills to ensure the success of the drop-in.

©Aziz Rahman

As the world closed and many organisations like ours were forced to shut permanently, HMSC reopened the drop-in remotely in March 2021.

After a lengthy recruitment process, we were joined by five Triage volunteers, six Legal Support volunteers, our Grants volunteer and one volunteer operating the Catch-Up Line. The remote service we now offer would not have been possible without the commitment of these volunteers; without them, we would not be able to offer the breadth of services we do.

Our volunteers are people we need, trust and value. Since our first remote triage session on 29th March 2021, our Catch-Up and Triage volunteers have assessed the needs of vulnerable people and ensured they get the support they need. Our Legal Support volunteers have gathered information and made applications for Exceptional Case Funding, to support people struggling to navigate the hostile environment policies. Our Grants volunteer has supported 14 people to secure hardship grants, providing much-needed financial support.

It is also vitally important to HMSC that we reciprocate the effort and commitment of our volunteers, by ensuring that we are giving our volunteers the best possible environment – remotely — to develop. We’re proud to have been able to offer training internally and from experienced external providers on supporting visitors who are victims of domestic abuse, on safeguarding and on the practicalities of Legal Aid among other important subjects.

On behalf of the staff team, we would like to say a huge thank you to all of our volunteers – it is a genuine pleasure to work with such a varied and skilled group of people. We are incredibly grateful for the tireless commitment they offer and wish to thank each and every one of them for their continued support.

©Aziz Rahman

Volunteers’ Week (1st – 7th June 2021) is an opportunity to celebrate, recognise and say thank you for the fantastic contribution volunteers make around the UK. Each day this week, we’ll be bringing you stories from HMSC’s incredible volunteers. To find out more about our work, follow us on Twitter.

#Haringey Migrant Support Centre#HMSC#Volunteering#Volunteers Week

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