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

September Training Programme

  1. Wednesday 30 August, 6:30-9pm
  2. Wednesday 6 September, 6:30-9pm
  3. Wednesday 13 September, 6:30-9pm
  4. Wednesday 20 September, 6:30-9pm
  5. Wednesday 27 September, 6:30-9pm
  6. Saturday 30 September, 9:00am-2pm
  7. Wednesday 4 October, 6:30-9pm

Planning Wednesday the 11th October, 6:30pm

Moving Day – 10am Friday 13th October

November Training Programme

  1.  Wednesday 25 October, 6:30-9pm
  2. Wednesday 1 November, 6:30-9pm
  3. Wednesday 8 November, 6:30-9pm
  4. Wednesday 15 November, 6:30-9pm
  5. Wednesday 22 November, 6:30-9pm
  6. Saturday 25 November, 9:00am-2pm
  7. Wednesday 29 December, 6:30-9pm

Planning Wednesday the 6th Dec, 6:30pm

Moving Day – 10am Friday 8th December

Hamilton

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

September training programme:

  1. The Refugee Experience, 31 August 6-9pm
  2. The RSV-role and Support Services, 7 September 6-9pm
  3. Health and Well-being, 14 September 6-9pm
  4. Education and Employment, 21 September 6-9pm
  5. Culture, 28 September 6-9pm

November training programme:

  1. The Refugee Experience, 24 October 6-9pm
  2. The RSV-role and Support Services, 31 October 6-9pm
  3. Health and Well-being, 7 November 6-9pm
  4. Education and Employment, 14 November 6-9pm
  5. Culture, 21 November 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

August intake

  1. Wednesday 5 July, 6:30-9pm
  2. Wednesday 12 July, 6:30-9pm
  3. Wednesday 19 July, 6:30-9pm
  4. Wednesday 26 July, 6:30-9pm
  5. Wednesday 2 August, 6:30-9pm
  6. Saturday 5 August, 10-4pm

October intake

  1. Wednesday 30 August, 6:30-9pm
  2. Wednesday 6 September, 6:30-9pm
  3. Wednesday 13 September, 6:30-9pm
  4. Wednesday 20 September, 6:30-9pm
  5. Wednesday 27 September, 6:30-9pm
  6. Saturday 30 September, 10-4pm

December intake

  1. Wednesday 25 October, 6:30-9pm
  2. Wednesday 1 November, 6:30-9pm
  3. Wednesday 8 November, 6:30-9pm
  4. Wednesday 15 November, 6:30-9pm
  5. Wednesday 22 November, 6:30-9pm
  6. Saturday 25 November, 10-4pm

Please note: The priority areas where volunteers are needed are Porirua and the Hutt. If you're in Wellington, you may be required to travel to these areas.

Nelson

August intake

  1. Friday 21 July, 5:30-8:30pm
  2. Saturday 22 July, 9:30am-3:30pm
  3. Sunday 23 July, 9:30am-3pm
  4. Thursday 27 July, 5:30-8:45pm

October intake

  1. Friday 15 September, 5:30-8:30pm
  2. Saturday 16 September, 9:30am-3:30pm
  3. Sunday 17 September, 9:30am-3pm
  4. Thursday 21 September, 5:30-8:45pm

December intake

  1. Friday 17 November, 5:30-8:30pm
  2. Saturday 18 November, 9:30am-3:30pm
  3. Sunday 19 November, 9:30am-3pm
  4. Thursday 23 November, 5:30-8:45pm

Dunedin

September intake

  1. Tuesday 19 September 6:30-9pm
  2. Thursday 21 September 6:30-9pm
  3. Tuesday 26 September 6:30-9pm
  4. Thursday 28 September 6:30-9pm
  5. Tuesday 3 October 6:30-9pm
  6. Thursday 5 October 6:30-9pm
  7. Saturday 7 October 9am-2pm

Planning meeting: Monday 9 October 6:30-9pm

November intake

  1. Tuesday 14 November 6:30-9pm
  2. Thursday 16 November 6:30-9pm
  3. Tuesday 21 November 6:30-9pm
  4. Thursday 23 November 6:30-9pm
  5. Tuesday 28 November 6:30-9pm
  6. Thursday 30 November 6:30-9pm
  7. Saturday 2 December 9am-2pm

Planning meeting: Monday 4 December 6:30-9pm

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

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!).