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About the organisation

Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR)

The AJR provides an extensive range of social and welfare services, and grants financial assistance to Jewish victims of Nazi persecution living in Great Britain. The Kindertransport (representing the child refugees who arrived in Britain prior to the outbreak of the Second World War) and the Child Survivors Association (offering support to the people, who as children, were trapped in Nazi-occupied Europe) are AJR special interest groups. The AJR is also committed to ensuring that future generations can learn about the Holocaust. As well as supporting educational, research and commemorative projects, the AJR has produced several resources that will help create the legacy of the Jewish refugees and survivors shedding light on how they rebuilt their lives and their remarkable contributions to Britain.

Application deadline: 

We are looking for volunteers to visit elderly AJR members who are refugees and survivors of the Holocaust in their own homes. Many members are frail and often isolated; some have few or no surviving family and are very lonely, so they would be grateful to have your companionship and much-needed assistance. You as a volunteer would make regular visits, be someone to talk to and - depending on the members’ physical state - possibly go on walks or shopping. Through these visits, our volunteers build rewarding and enduring friendships with survivors and it proves to be an extremely rewarding activity. They are given the privilege of hearing extraordinary stories and the inter-generational bonds that inevitably form ensure the experience of the Holocaust will not be forgotten.Befrienders visit between 1-3 hours weekly, fortnightly, or even monthly and should commit for at least 3 months.

Role Aim: 

We are looking for volunteers to visit elderly AJR members who are refugees and survivors of the Holocaust in their own homes. Many members are frail and often isolated; some have few or no surviving family and are very lonely, so they would be grateful to have your companionship and much-needed assistance. You as a volunteer would make regular visits, be someone to talk to and - depending on the members’ physical state - possibly go on walks or shopping. Through these visits, our volunteers build rewarding and enduring friendships with survivors and it proves to be an extremely rewarding activity. They are given the privilege of hearing extraordinary stories and the inter-generational bonds that inevitably form ensure the experience of the Holocaust will not be forgotten. Befrienders visit between 1-3 hours weekly, fortnightly, or even monthly and should commit for at least 3 months.

Duties: 

Volunteers when befriending can end up doing a number of different things, it depends on each individual case. Volunteers may go to a member’s house and chat. Or with more active members, volunteers may go out and run errands with them (food shopping, bank etc.).

Skills needed: 

Empathy, Good listening skills, Enjoy being with the elderly, Reliablity, Patience, Warm and friendly personality, Non-judgemental

Training: 

The initial interview will include training about volunteer and client. The Volunteer Co-ordinator goes to the first meeting between volunteer and client. Full support is provided during volunteer’s duration. And training workshops are offered to volunteers periodically on a wide range of volunteer related issues.

Location: 
Volunteers will work in clients' homes
Time commitment: 
1-3 hours per week
Opening times: 
As agreed between the AJR member and the volunteer Befrienders visit between 1-3 hours weekly, fortnightly, or even monthly
Once you’ve registered interest in this volunteering role, we’ll send your name and UCL email address to the organisation for their records. You’ll also receive information about the next steps to take if you do wish to take things forward. The organisation has signed up to our code of standards, which includes a commitment to protecting your data. We won’t share your information with anyone unless you’ve given explicit consent to. We’ll also retain your details so we can follow up to see how you’re getting on with your volunteering and offer support if necessary. We take good care of your data – you can see full details here