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Family Befriender - Syrian Refugee Resettlement Programme

South West Mayo Development Company

About South West Mayo Development Company

South West Mayo Development Company is the Local Integrated Development Company, supporting communities and individuals throughout south and west Mayo. This development support is provided by the management and delivery of the following programmes and activities in the company’s area of operation: Rural Development Programme (LEADER) 2014-2020; Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme; Rural Social Scheme; Rural Recreation and Walks Schem; Community Employment (2 schemes); Local Training Initiative (Claremorris); Tús: Labour Force Activation Initiative; Western Region Drugs Task Force

What's Involved

In partnership with another volunteer, meet with a Syrian family, once a week at a mutually convenient time, to assist with their resettlement to a town in Co Mayo (Westport, Claremorris or Castlebar). The individual tasks involved vary depending on the needs and interests of the families, but are likely to include some of the following tasks:

    Assist the families in home management skills e.g. operating household appliances, heating system, refuse collection, etc
    Assist families become familiar with local town - grocery shopping, services, venues for social activities etc.
    Take part in social activities - outings, walks, etc - so that the families can start to feel involved in their local town and get to know what is going on.
    Helping the families with basic form filling or communicating with officials in various agencies.
    Referring any issues or problems to the programme Resettlement Worker so that they can ensure the families receive assistance.

Group outings and activities will be arranged at the start of the programme to help everyone get to know each other.

What's required for this position

Volunteers should be friendly, patient, outgoing and willing to bide by the guidelines of the Befriending Programme. An open attitude and acceptance of difference is essential. Willingness to spend time with people with limited english. (Arabic speakers would be particularly welcome)

  • Hospitality/ Befriending
  • Multi-lingual/ Multi-culturalism
  • Personable Skills

Level of English required for this role:
Fluent English

Times and commitment required for this role


Minimum time commitment: 1 year

Hours required: 2hrs Weekly

Other Details

Location of volunteering opportunity:
Claremorris, Castlebar, Westport, Co Mayo

Other location details:
Claremorris, Castlebar, Westport, Co Mayo

Screening details for this role:

  • Garda Vetting
  • Informal Interviews
  • References
  • Application Form
  • Identification Check (photo ID etc…)

Volunteers will be provided with the following supports:

  • Support/ advice/ recognition
  • Supervision
  • Initial induction and training
  • Insurance cover

Age restrictions:
Over 18

Is this opportunity suitable for groups/teams of volunteers?

Benefits you will receive as a volunteer

Gain experience in intercultural actions, get to know new people and be part of a team, learning about another culture, playing a positive role in the biggest humanitarian crisis the world currently faces.

Getting there

Some home visits to the families may be involved, as well as arranging meet-ups at public locations in the towns involved.

  • This opportunity is posted by:
  • Volunteer Centre: Mayo
Volunteer Ireland is delighted to acknowledge the support of:
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