City of Sanctuary Bolton

Part time Refugee Housing Support Worker

Details for Applicants

1) Background to City of Sanctuary in Bolton

In response to the refugee crisis of summer 2015, Bolton Against Racism launched a ‘Refugees Welcome’ campaign with public fundraising and awareness raising events outside the town hall and football stadium. At a follow up public meeting involving a range of other groups, it was decided to form a local branch of the national City of Sanctuary movement, and we had an inaugural meeting in March 2016.  We do not want to duplicate existing work, but to build on it and do something different. We particularly want to engage in outreach and dialogue, which existing projects are not always in a position to do.

Our aims are:

  • To promote the inclusion and welfare of refugees and asylum-seekers, by encouraging Bolton to make a public commitment to becoming a place of welcome and safety by adopting the title of ‘City of Sanctuary’.
  • To encourage and support local communities and voluntary, community and faith organisations in welcoming and assisting asylum-seekers and refugees.
  • To publicise and celebrate the contribution of asylum-seekers and refugees to their local communities, and to UK society and culture, and to challenge hostility and discrimination against them.

The work of CoSB has taken six main forms: Outreach, Shared Meals, Sewing, Drama, work with Schools and Accommodation.

2) Meeting the Accommodation Needs of Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Tackling the local problem of destitute refused asylum seekers (and those granted status who are temporarily destitute) through developing a hosting programme is our main priority. At least 15 -20 people with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) are currently in this position, according to our partners at the Bolton Destitution Project, sleeping rough or sofa surfing, and this is the most urgent problem they face.

Over the past 18 months we have therefore convened a multi-agency working group on accommodation for destitute refused asylum seekers. This has looked at experience elsewhere and explored a range of options, including setting up a night shelter, before settling on the development of a hosting scheme.  In this time we have learnt from other members of the No Accommodation Network (NACCOM), especially Boaz Trust in Manchester. We have studied the NACCOM 2015 report on ‘Models of Accommodation & Support for Migrants with NRPF’ and the Strategic Alliance on Migrant Destitution (SAMD) 2017 report on Migrant Destitution.

We have trialled paperwork and procedures for a limited hosting programme with part-time volunteer input. 4 hosts have been found and 2 placements have taken place. For the guests this has meant better sleep, more self-respect and a better frame of mind to tackle their claims.

We would now like to be able to take this on to another level through employing a part-time hosting co-ordinator (10 hrs). This person could dedicate more time to promoting hosting opportunities and could support hosts and guests once placements are set up, making links to community activities and language classes.

Over a twelve month period, we aim to develop a pool of 20 potential hosts and to make ten successful placements of varying lengths.

Depending on the outcome of the hosting project, and the changing needs of those we serve, we are also prepared to explore other options e.g. night shelter, shared house, landlord bonds.

3) Partnerships

We have a partnership to develop the hosting scheme with a national charity, Refugees at Home, which currently operates in Manchester and Lancashire. There will be chance to share ideas and good practice with other NACCOM and City of Sanctuary member groups. Locally we work closely with Bolton at Home, and might expect referrals from the Destitution Project, BRASS, Red Cross or Refugee Action.

4) Funding

We have been given an initial £5,000 grant from NACCOM (from the Guardian appeal) to spend over the next six months and if successful would be looking to find other sources of funding for continuation.

5) Terms & Conditions of Employment

  • Salary Scale: £19,677 per year (pro rata)
  • Hours: 10 hours per week – £2,811 over 6 months
  • Contract length: Initial 6 month period
  • Holidays: Paid holiday pro rata + bank holidays

Self employed consultancy basis also available if preferred – we can discuss this with the successful applicant.

6) Office Base, Mail Address and Social Media

We have office accommodation and storage at the New Horizons Centre on Knowsley Street Bolton BL1 2BJ and a mail address at the Quaker Meeting House on Silverwell Street, Bolton BL1 1PP (where our committee meets).

Local website – http://bolton.cityofsanctuary.org/

National website: www.cityofsanctuary.org                    Twitter: @SanctuaryBolton

Facebook: City of Sanctuary Bolton @boltonhosting                                 

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