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 to 4 weeks of a placement are generally the busiest, filled with initial appointments and settling in tasks. After the first 6 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.

March Training Programme: 

  1. Session 1 Wednesday 14th Mar, 6.30-9pm 
  2. Session 2 Wednesday 21st Mar, 6.30-9pm 
  3. Session 3 Wednesday 28th Mar, 6.30-9pm 
  4. Session 4 Wednesday 4th Apr, 6.30-9pm 
  5. Session 5 Wednesday 11th Apr, 6.30pm-9pm 
  6. Session 6 Saturday 14th Apr, 6.30-9pm 
  7. Session 7 Wednesday 18th Apr, 6.30-9pm 

Planning Meeting Tuesday the 24th Apr, 6.30pm. 

Placement starts from Friday 27th April.

May Training Programme:

  1. Session 1 Wednesday 9th May, 6.30-9pm 
  2. Session 2 Wednesday 16th May, 6.30-9pm 
  3. Session 3 Wednesday 23rd May, 6.30-9pm 
  4. Session 4 Wednesday 30th May, 6.30-9pm 
  5. Session 5 Wednesday 6th Jun, 6.30-9pm 
  6. Session 6 Saturday 9th Jun, 9am-2pm 
  7. Session 7 Wednesday 13th Jun, 6.30pm-9pm 
Planning Meeting Wednesday the 20th Jun, 6.30pm. 

Placement starts from Friday 22nd June.

Hamilton

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

February training programme:

  1. The Refugee Experience, 01 February 9:30am-12:30pm or 6-9pm
  2. The RSV-role and Support Services, 08 February 9:30am-12:30pm 6-9pm
  3. Health and Well-being, 15 February 9:30am-12:30pm or 6-9pm
  4. Education and Employment, 20 February 9:30am-12:30pm or 6-9pm
  5. Culture, 22 February 9:30am-12:30pm or 6-9pm

March training programme:

  1. The Refugee Experience, 21 March 9:30am-12:30pm or 6-9pm
  2. The RSV-role and Support Services, 27 March 9:30am-12:30pm or 6-9pm
  3. Health and Well-being, 03 April 9:30am-12:30pm or 6-9pm
  4. Education and Employment, 10 April 9:30am-12:30pm or 6-9pm
  5. Culture, 17 April 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.

June/July intake

  1. Tuesday 27 June 6:15-9.00pm
  2. Tuesday 4 July 6:15-9.00pm
  3. Tuesday 11 July 6:15-9.00pm
  4. Tuesday 18 July 6:15-9.00pm
  5. Tuesday 25 July 6:15-9.00pm
  6. Tuesday 1 Aug 6:15-9.00pm

August/September intake

  1. Tuesday 22 August 6:15-9.00pm
  2. Thursday 24 August 6:15-9.00pm
  3. Tuesday 29 August 6:15-9.00pm
  4. Thursday 31 August 6:15-9.00pm
  5. Tuesday 5 September 6:15-9.00pm
  6. Tuesday 12 September 6:15-9.00pm

November intake

  1. Thursday 2 November 6:15-9.00pm
  2. Thursday 9 November 6:15-9.00pm
  3. Tuesday 14 November 6:15-9.00pm
  4. Thursday 16 November 6:15-9.00pm
  5. Tuesday 21 November 6:15-9.00pm
  6. Thursday 23 November 6:15-9.00pm

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

Wellington

January training programme:

  1. Wednesday 17 January, 6:00 - 8:30pm
  2. Wednesday 24 January, 6:00 -8:30pm

  3. Wednesday 31 January, 6:00 - 8:30pm

  4. Wednesday 7 February, 6:00 - 8:30pm

  5. Wednesday 14 February, 6:00 - 8:30pm

  6. Saturday 17 February, 10:00 - 4:00pm

March training programme:

  1. Wednesday 14 March, 6:00 - 8:30pm
  2. Wednesday 21 March, 6:00 - 8:30pm
  3. Wednesday 28 March, 6:00 - 8:30pm
  4. Wednesday 4 April, 6:00 - 8:30pm
  5. Wednesday 11 April, 6:00 - 8:30pm
  6. Saturday 14 April, 10:00 - 4:00pm
May training programme:

  1. Wednesday 9 May, 6:00 - 8:30pm
  2. Wednesday 16 May, 6:00 - 8:30pm
  3. Wednesday 23 May, 6:00 - 8:30pm
  4. Wednesday 30 May, 6:00 - 8:30pm
  5. Wednesday 6 June, 6:00 - 8:30pm
  6. Saturday 9 June, 10:00 - 4:00pm

Nelson

February training programme:

  • Saturday 10 February 9.30 to 3.30 
  • Sunday 11 February 9.30 to 3.30 
  • Thursday 15 February 5.30 to 8.30

April training programme:

  • Saturday 7 April 9.30 to 3.30
  • Sunday 8 April 9.30 to 3.30
  • Thursday 12 April 5.30 to 8.30
June training programme:

  • Saturday 2 June 9.30 to 3.30
  • Sunday 3 June 9.30 to 3.30
  • Thursday 7 June 5.30 to 8.30
July training programme:

  • Saturday 14 July 9.30 to 3.30
  • Sunday 15 July 9.30 to 3.30
  • Thursday 19 July 5.30 to 8.30
September training programme:

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

  • Saturday 17 November 9.30 to 3.30
  • Sunday 18 November 9.30 to 3.30
  • Thursday 22 November 5.30 to 8.30

Dunedin

February intake

  1. Friday 16 February 6:30-9pm
  2. Saturday 17 February 9am-3:30pm
  3. Friday 23 February 6:30-9pm
  4. Saturday 24 February 9am-3:30pm

Planning meeting: Monday 26 February 6:30-9pm 

April intake

  1. Friday 6 April 6:30-9pm
  2. Saturday 7 April 9am-3:30pm
  3. Friday 20 April 6:30-9pm
  4. Saturday 21 April 9am-3:30pm
Planning meeting: Monday 23 April 6:30-9pm

Invercargill

February intake

  1. Friday 9 February 6:30-9pm
  2. Saturday 10 February 9am-3:30pm
  3. Friday 16 February 6:30-9pm
  4. Saturday 17 February 9am-3:30pm
Planning meeting: Monday 26 February 6:30-9pm

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!).