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Vacancy opportunity at BIRCH

Birmingham Community Hosting Project - we are seeking a refugee and migrant support practitioner to join our small team and lead our family befriending project. Our Family Befriending Project matches young refugees (aged 16-25) with volunteer families who offer to share a weekly or fortnightly meal with them on a regular basis. The young refugees who benefit from this project have all come to the UK alone without their families and the majority are care leavers. They benefit from being welcomed into a family environment and feel better supported and less isolated. The host family does not intend to replace a young person’s birth family but will go some way to meeting some of the emotional needs families usually fulfil, helping young people to feel that they are cared about.

The project aims to recruit and train volunteer befrienders (15-20 volunteers) by engaging with referral agencies (5-10 agencies) and then to match young refugees with the volunteer befrienders. The project will also provide quarterly support and wellbeing sessions for young refugees and volunteer befrienders. Topics to include: mental health first aid, sign and symptoms, clothed and hand massage, guided relaxation, mindful arts activities- co-organised and facilitated by a mental health social worker (3-4 sessions annually). Whilst the majority of young refugees are given accommodation, education support by social services, and further caseworker support from the voluntary sector, young refugees are not always adequately being supported with their emotional well-being and feelings of isolation. This project aims to plug this gap. We are willing to consider applicants from outside Birmingham who are based within the West Midlands area.

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