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Refugee Support Volunteer - 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 and enhancing community resilience. The Red Cross Fundamental Principles guide all that they do, whether they're helping people in New Zealand communities or providing urgent relief in an International disaster.
The Invercargill team of Refugee Support Volunteers are looking for a friendly face and supportive guide to join them. 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 complementary skills.

Volunteer tasks may include:

  • Setting up a home for a refugee family/individual before they arrive

  • Helping the family enroll 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.

    Each training programme covers a range of topics including:
    All Refugee Support Volunteers take part in a comprehensive, multi-day training and are expected to attend each session.
    Training programmes are run in each of the settlement areas at varying times throughout the year.
    Volunteers also receive mentoring and support throughout their placement.

  • 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

This role has requires a high level of commitment, and is ideal for recently retired, however Red Cross would love to have a wide range of volunteers in their teams.

While this is a demanding role, our volunteers say they get get more than they give. A great opportunity to help a family and learn so much.

For more information and stories about the role, please visit https://www.redcross.org.nz/what-we-do/in-new-zealand/migration-programmes/volunteer-help-former-refugees/


Volunteers are vetted with interviews, police checks and 20 hours of training is provided.

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.