Volunteer Opportunities

Detention Action relies on the work of volunteers to deliver support and advice to people in immigration detention. We support people – providing emotional and practical support and advice – in the two immigration detention centres near Heathrow. The majority of people in the centres are men, from a range of countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. They may be refused asylum seekers, ex-offenders, visa overstayers or people going through the asylum process.

You can read more about our volunteers’ experiences in our ‘Thinking Outside the Box‘ series.

Volunteer with Detention Action

We welcome applications from everyone interested in supporting people in immigration detention. However, we only have limited capacity to train and support volunteers, so we are prioritising volunteers with experience of supporting vulnerable people, language skills and /or the ability to work in a demanding office environment (for the Advocacy and Support Volunteer role).  Full training and ongoing support is provided.

Advocacy & Support Volunteers (London) 

Volunteers in our office give a wide range of practical as well as emotional support to people in detention. Advocacy and Support Volunteers (ASVs) are the first contact for migrants calling our freephone, and are responsible for supporting a caseload of clients.  They provide non-immigration advice on people’s rights and how to access support and accommodation to which they can be released from detention.  ASVs also put people in touch with legal advisors and support organisations, such as BID or Medical Justice.

The commitment we normally ask for is at least 1 day a week for 6 months. Our next volunteer induction session for ASVs will take place in our office in Islington in January 2018 and volunteers will need to be available for 6 months from this session. We will be inviting successful applicants to an interview in December 2017 and early January 2018.

Please download the application pack here for more information and details of how to apply.

 Volunteer Visitors (London) 

Volunteer Visitors provide one-to-one support for people held in Colnbrook and Harmondsworth detention centres.  Volunteer Visitors are there to listen, to provide a space for people in detention to talk about their experiences or simply to offer a friendly point of contact with the outside world. Volunteers often support some of the most vulnerable people in detention, or those who have no other visitors. The commitment we ask for is one visit every 7-10 days for 6 months.

Our next volunteer induction session for visitors will take place in our office in Islington in early spring 2018 and volunteers will need to be available for 6 months from this session. We will be inviting successful applicants to an interview in early 2018.

Please download the application pack here for more information and details of how to apply.

Volunteer Interpreters (UK) 

Volunteer interpreters provide simultaneous telephone interpreting between staff and volunteers in the office and people in detention. We ask volunteers to be available a few times a month, during weekdays, for at least 6 months.  We are particularly looking for people who are fluent in Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Farsi, Kurdish, Mandarin, Pashto, Polish, Russian, Tamil, Urdu / Hindi and Vietnamese, although other languages may also be useful. We recruit interpreters on an ongoing basis. Please get in touch if you speak any of these languages.

Please download the application pack here for more information and details of how to apply.