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Role description

Families start again, while learning about new cultures, meeting new people and changing lives (including their own!).

Refugee support volunteers work in teams to provide support for former refugees as they embark on their resettlement journey. Teams are decided upon volunteer availability. We also try to match people with complimentary skills.

Your tasks 

You’ll be helping people navigate life in a new country, which might include:  

  • Setting up a home for a family or individual before they move in.
  • Connecting people with schools, English classes, GPs, and other services.  
  • Helping the family navigate the city or town using public transport.
  • Learning about another culture and sharing your own.  
  • Being a friendly, welcoming presence.  


Refugee Support Volunteers mostly serve out in the community based on the families needs. Volunteer training and meetings are hosted at the Red Cross Service Centre.

Volunteer requirements and training 

You’ll receive comprehensive training in how to give practical and social support, as well as intercultural practice. The training takes approximately 8 hours and is delivered over several evenings and/or weekends. Sometimes training courses are offered during the day.

Refugee support volunteers work in teams and are supported by New Zealand Red Cross staff and other volunteers.  

You’ll need to be familiar with your local area, open to working cross culturally, be resourceful and good at taking initiative.

You’ll need to be flexible. There are no set shift times for this role. The time you spend with a family will vary week to week. You will share responsibilities with your team depending on your availability. Volunteers need to commit at least four hours a week, but your time can be spread across the week. To apply for this role you will need to commit to volunteer for a period of either three or six months. 

If you want a rewarding experience where you can gain new skills, foster a positive and inclusive local community and meet new people, join us as a refugee support volunteer.

Health, Safety and Wellbeing (HSW)

  • Make sure your actions (or lack of actions) don’t harm your health, safety and wellbeing, or harm anyone else.
  • Take part in a HSW induction, training, programmes and activities.
  • Follow all instructions given to you about health, safety and wellbeing.
  • Follow all NZRC HSW policies, standards and procedures about health, safety and wellbeing.
  • Make sure you have the right training for any activities you are doing.
  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE) for any work activities that may need it to stay safe.
  • If you spot a hazard, or you are involved in an incident or near miss, report this straight away
Commitment required
3 months
Shift duration
2 hours
Shift time
Min age
18 years
4-8 hours
  • New Zealand Police - support services (child/youth)
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"Being a refugee support volunteer is a fantastic experience. I've made new friends, learnt about Burmese culture, language and food. I feel like I'm doing my bit to help new kiwis settle into life in Aotearoa New Zealand and feel welcome and supported."

Meredith, refugee support volunteer