We have a dedicated team of volunteers whose task it is to recruit and support our hosts, backed up by paid staff. There will always be someone on hand to support you (in general as well as in emergency situations should they arise), and we try to preempt and mitigate problems through a vetting process, and by matching up clients with hosts that will be a good ‘fit’ for them, and vice versa.
Before your guest arrives, we will let you know about any relevant needs or circumstances, for example if your guest has any special dietary requirements or if they don’t speak English well.
Long-term and emergency hosts will be supported by a dedicated member of the ASSIST accommodation team: your ‘host buddy’ will remain in regular contact with you before, during and after each hosting placement, to make sure that you have got all the information and support you need. If at any point before, during or after hosting you have any questions or concerns, they will be on the other end of a phone line for you.
We also organise at least two host social evenings each year, which have proven to be useful occasions to talk to other hosts, learn from each others’ experience and find out what is going on in ASSIST generally.
In addition to an initial induction for new hosts and ongoing support, hosts also have access to training opportunities for all ASSIST volunteers. Our ‘Asylum the Basics’ session teaches you all you need to know about the UK’s asylum system. Other recent training courses have included First Aid in Mental Health and Managing Difficult Situations.
You will also receive a small financial contribution towards the costs you have incurred for hosting an ASSIST client