Asylum Guides group sessions are now conducted in small groups based on languages. The sessions are led by volunteers who have lived experience of the asylum process, and are trained to deliver the Asylum Guides content in clients' native languages, encourage discussion and represent us as an independent, sympathetic organisation with strong links to the rest of the UK's asylum support network.
Volunteers are encouraged to take ownership over the project and to help us embed Asylum Guides into communities, as members of those communities themselves. This helps us to promote a welcoming, sociable atmosphere in which people can feel connected to support services via volunteers who have shared their experiences. Incorporating ongoing one-to-one Asylum Guides work now allows us to provide more comprehensive, long-lasting support to people residing in Merseyside's dispersal accommodation. This additional volunteer autonomy also means that the project coordinator is able to spend more time directing complex queries, ensuring the sessions run smoothly and bringing the service to more people over a much larger area.