Charities team up to find hosts for refugees in Norwich

David Wain, NSFT complaints officer and Refugees at Home volunteer. Photo: NSFT

David Wain, NSFT complaints officer and Refugees at Home volunteer. Photo: NSFT - Credit: NSFT

Could you help a refugee in Norwich?

David Wain, NSFT complaints officer and Refugees at Home volunteer. Photo: NSFT

David Wain, NSFT complaints officer and Refugees at Home volunteer. Photo: NSFT - Credit: NSFT

That is the question being asked by two charities teaming up to find temporary housing for people in desperate need by linking them with others who have generously offered to act as hosts.

David Wain - who works as a complaints officer for the region's mental health trust but who also volunteers with charity Refugees at Home - 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.

Refugees at Home has joined forces with another charity, New Routes Integration, to make the connection between refugees and potential hosts.

And Mr Wain is using Volunteers' Week, which runs between June 1 and 7, 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.


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'Refugees at Home has done some great work in London to partner homeless refugees with short-stay hosts,' said Mr Wain, 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.

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'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 of the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust, 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 or to get involved with organisations which support refugees in Norwich contact development@newroutes.org.uk

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