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Refugee support service — volunteering opportunities

Awe-inspiring — that's a good word to describe the range and amount of volunteering activities within our local refugee support service [Flüchtlingshilfe Heidelberg]. So many want to help that before listing the numerous projects and activities, we would like to say thank you.

Thank you to all active volunteers as well as to all those showing an interest in getting involved. A large number of volunteers are already working alongside our permanent staff at the refugee registration centre Heidelberg (Patrick-Henry-Village) or for our refugee support service at community-level. As much as we would like to be able to place everyone who wants to get involved, this is not always possible. We thank you for your understanding should you not be placed and hope we can count on you in the future if need arises.

If you have any questions, please turn to our volunteer work co-ordinators at the PHV refugee registration centre — they manage the many activities and will know exactly where practical help is needed.

Volunteering projects & activities — at the refugee registration centre (Patrick-Henry-Village)

Here's an overview of our current projects, activities and co-operations:

  • “Care & Host” activities by the welcoming team of our “Counselling Center for Refugees” (independent advice service on social welfare and asylum process matters, located in PHV)—designed to support and accompany refugees seeking advice at the Center, with child care provided for the duration of the appointment
  • women's get-together & child care—a place to meet for pregnant women and mothers with children
  • language tuition—daily crash courses in German helping to get by in everyday life
  • language mediators, interpreters and translators—to overcome language barriers
  • handicrafts group—knitting and other crafts and more to keep one's hands and mind busy
  • “move, stretch & relax”—relaxation exercises for women and children
  • sports—running meetup with refugees from Patrick-Henry-Village
  • bookswap bookshelf—with free learning materials and books in easy German
  • packing information welcome packs—with important information and other helpful materials
  • research team—gathering information on the internet or directly in Heidelberg about any kind of service or activity that might be useful to refugees, for the “Counselling Center” to pass it on later
  • accompanying individuals—a one-to-one activity provided by a large number of well-experienced experts and active volunteer workers who have been supporting us for years

Joint volunteer projects and company volunteering
— at the refugee registration centre Patrick-Henry-Village

Alongside services offered by the Diakonisches Werk (the social welfare organisation of the Protestant church in Heidelberg), a number of volunteering or sponsoring activities have been launched by local companies. These include:

  • SRH (a private educational and health-care services provider): a project to grant special leave to staff who actively help support refugees—exchanging collar and tie for workwear overalls, participants paint walls, fit shelves, do up and equip rooms for tuition and advice service purposes etc.
  • Rotary Club Heidelberg-Neckar: additional language tuition and ticket quotas in co-operation with the “Counselling Center” advice service on-site
  • German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ): donations in kind of over 950 bags with much-needed items for children and adults plus several moving boxes filled with trainers

Further volunteering opportunities — in support of refugees in Heidelberg

Placed by volunteer work co-ordinators, our volunteers work as

  • refugee assistance volunteers—providing one-to-one help and guidance in co-operation with our “Counselling Center for Refugees” advice service
  • integration assistance volunteers—supporting integration by accompanying persons who have been granted refugee status and immigrants to meetings with officials
  • Mov'in volunteers—supporting refugees in their search for accommodation
  • language mediators—volunteering within our LanguageMediatorNetwork to help overcome language barriers