Volunteers are at the heart of The Welcoming and we are privileged to have an amazing community of skilled and enthusiastic volunteers who help us to run our activities and welcome newcomers to Edinburgh. We are always delighted to hear from people who are interested in joining as a volunteer. Details of current opportunities are provided below. To apply, please complete the relevant application form.

Please see our Volunteer Policy and our Volunteer Rights and Responsibilities.

If you have any questions or suggestions about volunteering, please contact us.

Befriending Volunteers

Role Purpose: To share social and cultural activities with newcomers to Scotland and offer informal support with English language learning, on a 1-1 and/or group basis, as part of our Welcoming Friendship programme. Meetings often take place in newcomers’ family homes.
Skills and Qualities Needed: Interest in supporting others, good listening and interpersonal skills, patience, reliability and flexibility, respect for other cultures, social and cultural interests that you can share with others, interest in developing your skills and reflecting on experiences.

Commitment: Befriending pairs usually meet up on a weekly basis for a few hours. We ask befriending volunteers to commit to meeting up over a 9 month period though we hope that friendships will continue beyond this. We are particularly interested in hearing from people who are settled in Edinburgh and plan to be here long term.

Support and Training: Induction given and ongoing support and supervision offered.

Update: We are NOT recruiting befriending volunteers at present. Feel free to fill in the Befriending Volunteer Application Form  and we’ll get back to you when we are ready to recruit again.

ESOL Tutors

Role Purpose: Provide ESOL support in order to improve practical English language skills of migrants and newcomers to Edinburgh. Plan and teach a class for a maximum of 30 people (beginner, elementary or intermediate), either on your own or as part of a team.

Skills and Qualities Needed:

  1. Very strong English language skills, Teaching UK recognised qualification (e.g. CELTA, TESOL etc.). Experience in ELT and/or adult learning. Ability to plan lessons and work as part of team.
  2. Good interpersonal and communication skills. Patient, understanding with a good sense of humour.

Commitment: The post would probably average out at 2 – 4 hours per week, but it depends on preparation time and and can be negotiated.

Support and Training: Induction given and ongoing training offered.

Update: We are NOT currently recruiting any more volunteers for this activity. Please check back regularly for updates.

Sustainable Garden volunteers

Volunteering opportunities are available for our Sustainable Garden project. Please see the Sustainable Garden page for more information and contact [email protected] to express your interest in getting involved. Please read the Volunteer Role Description sustainable garden volunteer beforehand.

Welcoming Lunch volunteers

We have two roles available to help support our weekly Welcoming Lunch on Fridays.

Lunch Collection/Pick Up
This role involves collecting the food from Pret-a-Manger on Lothian Road at 4.55pm sharp, then bringing it back to the Welcoming to store in our fridge. This all takes no more than 1 hour / 1 hour 15 minutes. It is a very straightforward and practical role that makes a big difference for us.

Time commitment: Thursdays, ready for pick up at Lothian Road by 4.55pm sharp, finishing at the Welcoming around 6pm

Lunch Host
This role involves setting up the lunch at the Welcoming and clearing the space once lunch is finished. Key tasks include

* creating a relaxed, informal atmosphere that help participants feel welcomed and enjoy the gathering

* engaging with participants who seem lonely or isolated

* helping to monitor attendance and evaluation of the Welcoming Lunch

Time commitment: Fridays, 12pm – 1.30pm

If you are interested in either, or both, of these roles, please contact [email protected]