AVID (the association for visitors to immigration detainees) delivered a training session for JRS UK volunteers at the end in January. The training covered current issues in detention, focusing especially on recent changes in legislation, and provided an overview of the rights of people held in immigration detention, concentrating on key issues such as access to healthcare and legal advice.
Volunteers were given a space where they could test crucial skills in a safe environment, trying their hand at active listening and asserting boundaries through hands-on exercises and role plays. Central to the day was a session on looking after oneself and supporting each other as a group.
It was a great day of learning together. Beatrice Grasso, JRS UK Detention Outreach Manager said of the training, “We are very grateful to AVID for agreeing to deliver this training to our volunteers and sharing their expertise with our team.
“Detention outreach work is very demanding, both emotionally and in terms of the knowledge that is needed in order to accompany in the best possible way all those who come in contact with JRS UK. It is therefore crucial to us that our volunteers are provided with the tools necessary to serve these young men to the best of their abilities, and at the same time receive all the support they need to enable them to continue doing so in the long term.”
Anita Whitehouse, JRS UK volunteer said, “I feel like I now have a better understanding of the many issues facing our friends in detention, in particular around the mental health. As a visitor, I now feel more confident in being able to recognise signs of vulnerability and respond to them.”
Would you like to volunteer with JRS UK as a detention visitor? We’re recruiting now for new visitors into detention. If you’re interested and would like to learn more, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org