NHSN&S

A Complaints Officer with Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) is appealing for kind-hearted people with a few hours to spare to volunteer to help refugees and asylum seekers settle in Norwich by offering short-term accommodation or becoming a mentor.

David Wain volunteers with Refugees at Home, which has teamed up with local charity New Routes Integration to find temporary housing for people in desperate need by linking them with others who have generously offered to act as hosts.

David is now using Volunteers’ Week, which runs between 1 and 7 June, to appeal for other people with professional experience as social workers, health visitors, district nurses or mental health practitioners to volunteer to visit and vet potential hosts before placements are made.

“Refugees at Home has done some great work in London to partner homeless refugees with short-stay hosts,” said David, who is based at Hellesdon Hospital in Norwich and carries out home visits to prospective hosts. “They work within strict guidelines both for hosts and referrals, making this a really good, safe solution for everyone.

“I understand they have placed nearly 320 people since the charity launched in October 2015, and provide a vital service connecting people who have room to spare with asylum seekers and refugees in need of accommodation.

“We are now looking for anyone with relevant professional experience to step forward and volunteer and help get this scheme off the ground in Norfolk.”

Michael Scott, Chief Executive, said: “I am always in awe of the hard work and compassion of our staff and the fact that this extends to their personal time. So many get involved with charitable endeavours to support their local communities, which is fantastic news and should be applauded.”

For more information about Refugees at Home or to sign up to help, visit www.refugeesathome.org/

For information about ways to get involved with organisations which support refugees in Norwich, or about mentoring and befriending, contact development@newroutes.org.uk