Volunteer to help former refugees

Our refugee support volunteers do an extraordinary job and are a core part of the services we offer to former refugees.

We love our volunteers

Our volunteers are a friendly face and supportive guide. After training, volunteers begin their placement with a newly arrived family or individual. They work in teams to provide support and often find they become good friends with their team members. Teams are decided upon volunteer availability. We also try to match people with complimentary skills.

Volunteer tasks may include:

  • Setting up a home for a refugee family/individual before they arrive
  • Helping the family enrol with schools and doctors
  • Budgeting, shopping and how to use an ATM machine
  • Showing the family how to use public transport
  • Social visits
  • Generally explaining how things work in New Zealand.

Hear from the Loulou family, former refugees, about their experience with their Red Cross volunteer:

Time commitment

The first 2-4 weeks of a placement are generally the busiest, filled with initial appointments and settling in tasks. After the first six weeks, less time is required as the family becomes more settled. By this stage volunteers typically spend time with their family or individual on a weekly basis.

Training

All volunteers take part in our comprehensive, multi-day training.  Training programmes are run in each of the resettlement areas, at varying times throughout the year. Volunteers also receive mentoring and support throughout their placement.

Each training programme covers a range of topics including:

  • An introduction to the refugee experience
  • The role of the refugee support volunteer teams and teamwork
  • Refugee health, well-being and education
  • Key support services
  • Culture

Upcoming training schedules

Auckland

All training sessions are held at Red Cross, 33 Lambie Drive, Manukau.

July Training Programme:

  1. Session 1 Wednesday 4 July, 6.30-9pm 
  2. Session 2 Wednesday 11 July, 6.30-9pm 
  3. Session 3 Wednesday 18 July, 6.30-9pm 
  4. Session 4 Wednesday 25 July, 6.30-9pm 
  5. Session 5 Wednesday 1 August, 6.30-9pm 
  6. Session 6 Saturday 4 August, 9am-2pm 
  7. Session 7 Wednesday 8 August, 6.30pm-9pm 

Planning Meeting Wednesday 15 August, 6.30pm

Placement starts from Friday 17 August.

September Training Programme

  1. Session 1 Wednesday 29 Aug, 6.30-9pm
  2. Session 2 Wednesday 5 Sept, 6.30-9pm
  3. Session 3 Wednesday 12 Sept, 6.30-9pm
  4. Session 4 Wednesday 19 Sept, 6.30-9pm
  5. Session 5 Wednesday 26 Sept, 6.30-9pm
  6. Session 6 Saturday 29 Sept, 9.00am-2pm
  7. Session 7 Wednesday 3 Oct, 6.30-9pm

Planning meeting Wednesday 10 Oct, 6.30pm

Placement starts from Friday 12 October.

Hamilton

All training sessions are held at Red Cross, 422 Te Rapa Road, Hamilton.

July training programme:

  1. The Refugee Experience, 10 July, 9.30am-12pm or 6-9pm
  2. The RS Volunteer role and Support Services, 17 July, 9.30am-12pm or 6-9pm
  3. Health and Well-being, 24 July, 9.30am-12pm or 6-9pm
  4. Education and Employment, 31 July, 9.30am-12pm or 6-9pm
  5. Culture, 7 August, 9.30am-12pm or 6-9pm

September training programme:

  1. The Refugee Experience, 6 September, 9.30am-12.30pm or 6-9pm
  2. The RS Volunteer role and Support Services, 13 September, 9.30am-12.30pm or 6-9pm
  3. Health and Well-being, 20 September, 9.30am-12.30pm or 6-9pm
  4. Education and Employment, 27 September, 9.30am-12.30pm or 6-9pm
  5. Culture, 4 October, 9.30am-12.30pm or 6-9pm

Manawatu/Wanganui

All training sessions are held at Red Cross First Aid training room, 245 Main Street, Palmerston North.

May training programme:

  1.  Tuesday 1 May 6:15-9pm
  2.  Tuesday 8 May 6:15-9pm
  3.  Tuesday 15 May 6:15-9pm
  4.  Thursday 24 May 6:15-9pm
  5.  Tuesday 29 May 6:15-9pm
  6. Tuesday 5 June 6:15-9pm

Dates are subject to change and will be confirmed 4 weeks prior to course start date.

Wellington

July Training:
  1. Wednesday 4 July, 6-8:30pm
  2. Wednesday 11 July, 6-8:30pm
  3. Wednesday 18 July, 6-8:30pm
  4. Wednesday 25 July, 6-8:30pm
  5. Wednesday 1 August, 6-8:30pm
  6. Saturday 4 August, 10am-4pm

August Training:

  1. Wednesday 29 August, 6-8:30pm
  2. Wednesday 5 September, 6-8:30pm
  3. Wednesday 12 September, 6-8:30pm
  4. Wednesday 19 September, 6-8:30pm
  5. Wednesday 26 September, 6-8:30pm
  6. Saturday 29 September, 10am-4:00pm

October Training:

  1. Wednesday 24 October, 6-8:30pm
  2. Wednesday 31 October, 6-8:30pm
  3. Wednesday 7 November, 6-8:30pm
  4. Wednesday 14 November, 6-8:30pm
  5. Wednesday 21 November, 6-8:30pm
  6. Saturday 24 November, 10am-4pm

Nelson

June training programme:

  • Saturday 9 June 9.30am-3.30pm
  • Sunday 10 June 9.30am-3.30pm
  • Thursday 14 June 5.30pm-8.30pm
August training programme:

  • Saturday 4 August 9.30am-3.30pm
  • Sunday 5 August 9.30am-3.30pm
  • Thursday 9 August 5.30pm-8.30pm
September training programme:

  • Saturday 22 September 9.30am-3.30pm
  • Sunday 23 September 9.30am-3.30pm
  • Thursday 27 September 5.30pm-8.30pm
November training programme:

  • Saturday 17 November 9.30am-3.30pm
  • Sunday 18 November 9.30am-3.30pm
  • Thursday 22 November 5.30pm-8.30pm

Dunedin

June training programme

  • Friday 1 June 6:30 - 9:00
  • Saturday 2 June 10:00 - 5:00
  • Friday 8 June 6:30 - 9:00
  • Saturday 9 June - 10:00 - 5:00

A coordinator planning meeting will be held on Thursday 14 June at 5:30

A key worker planning meeting will be held from Monday 18 June

August training programme

  • Friday 27 July 6:30 - 9:00
  • Saturday 28 July 10:00 - 5:00
  • Friday 3 August 6:30 - 9:00
  • Saturday 4 August 10:00 - 5:00

A coordinator planning meeting will be held on Thursday 9 August at 5:30

A key worker planning meeting will be held from Monday 13 August

September training programme

  • Friday 21 September 6:30 - 9:00
  • Saturday 22 September 10:00 - 5:00
  • Friday 28 September 6:30 - 9:00
  • Saturday 29 September 10:00 - 5:00

A coordinator planning meeting will be held on Thursday 4 October at 5:30

A key worker planning meeting will be held from Monday 9 October

November training programme

  • Friday 16 November 6:30 - 9:00
  • Saturday 17 November 10:00 - 5:00
  • Friday 23 November 6:30 - 9:00
  • Saturday 24 November 10:00 - 5:00

A coordinator planning meeting will be held on Thursday 29 November at 5:30 

A key worker planning meeting will be held from Monday 3 December

Invercargill

May/June training:

  • Wednesday 23 May 6:00 - 8:30
  • Saturday 26 May 9:00 - 4:30
  • Tuesday 5 June 6:00 - 8:30
  • Saturday 9 June 9:00 - 4:30

Planning Meeting Monday 18 June 6:00-8:00pm

July/August training:

  • Tuesday 24 July 6:00 - 8:30
  • Saturday 28 July 9:00 - 4:30
  • Wednesday 1 August 6:00 - 8:30
  • Saturday 4 August 9:00 - 4:30

Planning Meeting Monday 13 August 6:00-8:00pm

Contact details

For more information about volunteering in your region, please contact:

Become a refugee support volunteer

Volunteering is a fun and rewarding experience. Our refugee support volunteers help families start again, while learning about new cultures, meeting new people and changing lives (including their own!).