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Working with migrants, asylum seekers & refugees

Our TSL Kirklees Migration Team can support you if you’re working with recent migrants to Kirklees

We can help with:

Support to help your organisation be more inclusive

Our TSL Migration Team is experienced in working with and supporting recent migrants to Kirklees, including refugees and asylum seekers. We work in partnership with Kirklees Council as part of the #KirkleesWelcomes initiative.

You can talk to us about how to make your services and activities more accessible and inclusive for migrants, and we can offer training on things like:

  • tackling hate crime
  • safeguarding
  • equality, diversity and inclusion
  • inclusive volunteering

funding

We sometimes have small grants available that can help you put on activities for recent migrants, or encourage them to try volunteering.

Find out more on our Funding page.

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referrals and help for people you are working with

You can refer people you’re working with to us for extra help with, or we can come to you to run an outreach or assessment session:

Other sources of support

Alternatively you can visit the #KirkleesWelcomes website to find more about other support and services across Kirklees.

volunteer as a welcome mentor

If you or someone you know would like to volunteer as a Welcome Mentor, you can find out more and apply via our Volunteering Opportunities Board.

FAQs

What this way for english?

This Way for English (TW4E) is a programme that aims to engage with refugees, asylum seekers and migrants to assess English language ESOL needs as well as identify more holistic needs. The programme will refer or signpost participants to appropriate ESOL provision and refer participants to other relevant organisations or programs to facilitate their integration into the local community.  We have two This Way for English Outreach Workers – Saira Hamid and Anita McCarthy.

Who is it for?

Refugees, asylum seekers and migrants living in Kirklees who need help with their English (English as a Second Language – ESOL).

What do we do?

  • assess English language development needs
  • identify other social and personal support needs
  • refer/signpost to appropriate support
  • highlight gaps and barriers and seek funding to address these

We can carry out assessments at our offices in Huddersfield and Batley, or remotely via phone/video, and we can deliver outreach sessions at community venues such as schools, faith groups, health centres.  We also run weekly assessments at the following locations:  

What are welcome mentors?

Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants are often vulnerable when placed in our communities, as they often lack the language and support networks to help them access services and integrate in the community.

The Welcome Mentor programme, co-ordinated by Steffi Rogers, has been developed to offer a volunteer support/befriending service to help reduce some of the barriers and alleviate the feeling of isolation.  Our volunteer mentors speak over 50 different languages.

Watch an introductory video about the Welcome Mentors

What Support do they offer?

The Mentors are there to help refugees, asylum seekers and migrants settle in Kirklees and help them navigate through what can be a complicated process to starting again in new environment.

Mentors can also help provide the following:

  • Access to NHS services including assisting with registering at medical centres, opticians and dental practices and help planning for visits to hospitals or specialist appointments
  • Support and advice on how to access services such as food banks, migrant groups and legal advice
  • Support to access English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) assessments and ESOL classes
  • Assistance helping to identify and access community activity to support integration
  • Help with housing applications and universal credit
  • We try to work flexibly and if there are other specific needs, we are always open to exploring whether these needs can be met.

I know someone who would benefit from a mentor, who do I contact?

If you would like to refer a person for support please complete the referral form:

Go to the Welcome Mentor Referral Form

can someone volunteer as a welcome mentor if they don’t necessarily have lots of spare time?

No problem, volunteers are asked to be a mentor for 2 – 4 hours per month. Some of this time may be face-to-face but mentoring can also be done on the phone or on a video call.

What skills does someone need?

None – apart from the ability to speak a language other than English and a willingness to help. You will work with a co-ordinator from Third Sector Leaders (TSL) Kirklees to plan how best to support your mentee and you will also receive regular training and skills development to make the experience the best for both yourself and your mentee.

We will also aim to match you with someone who shares your language, heritage, hobbies and interests.

How does someone apply?

If you are interested in volunteering please apply via our Volunteering Opportunities Board.

What is meet, try and learn?

Meet, Try and Learn are social clubs planned and delivered by Welcome Mentors, and co-ordinated by our Welcome Mentors Co-ordinator, Steffi Rogers.  The sessions are held alongside the regular This Way for English assessment sessions at libraries and community centres:

  • Batley Library, Monday 1pm – 3pm  
  • Dewsbury Library, Tuesday 1pm – 3pm 
  • Huddersfield Library, Wednesday 1pm to 3pm
  • Greenwood Centre (Ravensthorpe), Thursday 1pm – 3pm

The sessions are a mixture of Welcome Mentor-led activities, and learning engagement sessions with support from the Mentors.  Each session includes opportunities for conversation, learning, interaction and engagement, further learning.

Download a flyer for the latest sessions

What do sessions include?

Activities include:

  • arts and crafts such as jewellery-making and using henna (with a session plans that include language development) 
  • literacy activities, such as dice games with questions and answers, crosswords and themed word games
  • activity sheets of varying levels, extension tasks and take-home activities
  • learning how to use tablets and laptops and find useful information.

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