via Jon at LASSN
Many organisations in Leeds offer volunteering opportunities to asylum seekers and refugees. This throws up a number of different issues, especially around background checks, safeguarding, and what kind of volunteering is permitted for people who are subject to immigration control.
Jon Beech from LASSN recently spoke at a VAL event and made reference to several things
- LASSN no longer complete DBS checks on volunteers. The rationale for this, and supporting paperwork can be found here http://lassn.org.uk/safeguarding
- In 2015 the Home Office issued Guidance about Visitors to the UK – (ie anyone subject to immigration control) and volunteering Statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC1025, 26 February 2015 which states “A visitor may undertake incidental volunteering, provided it lasts no more than 30 days in total.”
- However, the most recent Home Office guidance on asylum seekers and volunteering can be found here. This states “Asylum seekers are encouraged to volunteer” – and there are no limits set to the amount or duration of volunteering activities that asylum seekers can undertake.