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Refugee Support - Invercargill


New Zealand Red Cross


Social Support





New Zealand Red Cross' mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilising the power of humanity to enhance community resilience. Refugee Support is one of many services NZ Red Cross provide to the community. Red Cross would love to have a wide range of volunteers in their teams, so for those who work full time you can still help.

The Invercargill team are looking for friendly faces, and supportive guides, to join the Refugee Support Volunteer team. After training, volunteers begin their placement with a newly arrived family or individual. They work in teams to provide support and can often become good friends with their team members. Teams are decided upon volunteer availability where they also try to match people with complementary skills.

As a Refugee Support Person you will be:

  • Setting up a home for a refugee family/individual before they arrive
  • Helping the family enrol with local schools and doctors
  • Shopping and showing how to use the Bus and ATM machine
  • Connecting former refugees with sports clubs or other local activities
  • Showing the family how to use public transport
  • Social visits
  • Generally explaining how things work in New Zealand

What Training is involved?

All Refugee Support Volunteers take part in a comprehensive Training programme which is run in each of the settlement areas at varying times throughout the year. 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

Benefits of Volunteering:

  • Volunteers also receive mentoring and support throughout their placement.
  • While this can be a demanding role, our volunteers often say they get more than they give
  • A great opportunity to help a family and learn so much about new cultures

For more information and stories about the role, please visit https://www.redcross.org.nz/about-us/what-we-do/in-new-zealand/supporting-refugees/


  • This role requires a high level of commitment, and is ideal for recently retired or part time workers
  • Kind, friendly personality
  • Tolerant and open-minded
  • Local knowledge would be helpful
  • Variety of practical skills welcome
  • Willing to undergo 10hrs of training
  • Willing to undergo a police check

A Police background check is required for this role.

Time commitment

  • Generally the commitment is for a 6 month period of supporting a family. The hours per week will vary.
  • The first two to four weeks of a placement will vary and 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.
  • Volunteers works as a team, so they try to share the load.

Getting started

The first step is to express your interest by filling out the form below. We will then put you in touch directly with the organisation for more information on the role and how to proceed.

Ref: 2105

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In applying for this position I confirm that I have read the requirements of the position and believe I have the skills and attributes required to carry out this role safely and effectively.