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Unfold - Empowerment through Mentoring
The Borough of Westminster has many vulnerable/disadvantaged families with lone or young parents, on low incomes, facing mental or physical ill health, depression, language barriers or coping with disabilities. Many are refugees or asylum seekers, have been in temporary accommodation for several years or are struggling to establish a home and cope with huge changes in their lives.

Mentoring for Mums Welcome

For over 30 years, Unfold (previously Westminster Befriend a Family) has been providing support to vulnerable families who are at risk of social exclusion.  Working with a network of trained and DBS checked volunteers, we offer mentoring to mums and young people, building independence, breaking cycles of social exclusion and preventing a slide into crisis.  

In our Mentoring for Mums Welcome Programme, we support asylum seeking women with children. We aim to improve well-being, connectedness and reduce loneliness as we build confidence, developing a growth mindset. Our volunteers provide regular social, emotional and practical support, for three to six months.  We offer volunteers bespoke and comprehensive training to ensure they are prepared for their role, with ongoing support and structured supervisions, as well as a range of tailored resources.

You’ll need to be able to commit to at least six months of support, and we require a DBS check, which we take care of, as well as two recent references.  We particularly welcome people with language skills (Pashtu, Dari, Farsi, Arabic and more!).

If you’re interested in becoming a mentor, supporting families to settle in and access the support they need, please sign up on our website here.  If you have any questions, please get in touch with [email protected] 

What impact will this have?

  • Mentors will help mothers break cycles of social isolation, improve family cohesion, and wellbeing by providing support to families in a wide range of issues.
  • Mentors will empower mothers to overcome challenging circumstances and help them find new ways to connect with their local community.
  • By being part of Unfold volunteers’ team you will be helping us to have greater reach in making a positive impact on the lives of many vulnerable families and young people, living in Westminster.

Refugee Women Support Groups

We also run two Refugee Women Support Groups (WSG). The group meetings are taking place on Wednesdays at The Abbey Centre from 10 to 12 and on Fridays at Westbourne Family Park Centre from 10 to 12. It’s a free, relaxed environment for refugee, immigrant and asylum-seeking women in Westminster to meet, get to know each other, share stories and offer support to one another. We facilitate a number of activities during the drop-in sessions, if you are interested in volunteering as a Session Volunteer in one of our Women's Support Groups please let us know by emailing Maria at [email protected] 


Unfold is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. The above posts however are restricted to women due to the nature of the role. The Occupational Requirement under Schedule 9 (part 1) of the Equality Act 2010 applies.


What will I be doing?

  • Provide emotional, social and practical support to refugee and asylum-seeking women with children
  • Offer one hour per week in person mentoring session.
  • Empower women to start their integration journey in their new community by supporting them to understand the education and health systems and access courses and workshops in their local area. 
  • Provide a listening ear and talk through the challenges mothers face. Together, mentors and mentees will explore how to achieve their goals and deal with individual challenges.
  • Support women to make social connections with the local community or groups, refer and signpost them to other organisations providing more specialist support if needed.
Who will the volunteers be working with?
Refugee and asylum-seeking women with children
• We offer online training covering topics around safeguarding, confidentiality, the person-centred approach, the growth mindset, mentoring, inclusion, healthy professional boundaries and more. This can take approximately 3 hours and can be done at the time that suits you
• Coaching and Mentoring, the Refugee Experience and Trauma Informed Practice Live training - we run this training either on Friday afternoons or Saturday mornings, over 5 hours via Zoom or in person.

Time commitment


We carefully match our volunteers with women who are at risk of social isolation and living in Westminster. We will support you to make a trusting relationship with your mentee, give you training and resources to support you on your journey as a mentor. You will guide your mentee to set goals to empower them to make positive changes within their lives. You may support women getting into education, make social connection within the local community or provide psychosocial support to those facing challenges as parents. 

We ask volunteers to commit to a 1–2-hour weekly support session, over a period of six months (24 sessions in total). Sessions can take place only n person in a public place.

This organisation is one of our community partner organisations.

Like all volunteer recruiters we work with, they have signed up to our service standards, agreeing to abide by our policy on partnership working to keep you safe and supported whilst you volunteer.

You’ll never be out of pocket for volunteering through us – with in-London travel expenses to and from your volunteering guaranteed.

In addition, the team here at Students’ Union UCL Volunteering Service is here to support you throughout your volunteering journey – you can get in touch with us at any time.