ASHA relies on local volunteers and on asylum seekers as support workers.
Asylum seekers help
- In the office, in the kitchen
- Preparing lunch for the weekly Hub meeting
- Sorting out clothing and food
- Maintaining the computers
- Preparing monthly statistics
- Tutoring anyone who needs help with email and the internet
- Assisting in the Women and Children Saturday clubs, and
- Organising football in the park on Saturdays.
All volunteers receive training in safe-guarding, food hygiene, first aid and customer care.
Local volunteers help by
- Staffing the Centre
- Mentoring asylum seekers through conversational English
- Donating food and clothing
- Raising money to support activities and trips
- Telling individuals and groups how they can help
ASHA needs more volunteers to fulfil routine tasks and others with skills we are short of. Contact Us for more information about volunteering.
You Learn Festival
BSU’s Youlearn offered ASHA two action-packed learning days. Project workers, Neil Seepujak and Matt Pointon, commented “Following on from our work with the U3A, we wanted to see if we could link up with other hard-to-reach learners. We know how difficult the transition to life in the UK is and how precarious the situations refugees are in, so we wanted to listen and to provide learning that would be of help.”
The day began with ESOL classes on points of grammar, delivered by Project Worker Matt Pointon, who is an experienced ESOL teacher. Neil then delivered sessions on IT including using government websites, rights at work and the reasons to join a trade union.
After a wonderful lunch cooked by service users, encompassing diverse world cuisines, there were lighter sessions on discovering the history of the Potteries, and days out you can enjoy from Stoke-on-Trent.
Commenting Matt said, “It was really uplifting being able to work with the ASHA service users, some of whom I have no doubt will make valuable contributions to the trade union movement in the future.”
ASHA believes that it is important that our volunteers are remunerated for their work. This is why ASHA pays towards the cost of their travelling to the Centre from outlying neighbourhoods as well as a small lunch allowance.
We believe that volunteering for ASHA or attending the Women and Children’s clubs may for many be a crucial first step towards becoming integrated in their local community.