Volunteers are the Welcoming! They bring dedication, compassion, enthusiasm and all kinds of skills and creativity to our work.

The Welcoming Board – Volunteers providing strong governance and strategic direction
‘The Welcoming is an outstanding organisation, constantly changing and developing, reflecting on demands of participants, but firmly serving its purpose. Last year was very successful for the Welcoming, we increased our contribution to the community development, and grew in numbers of people and activities. Being involved in the Welcoming for the past 6 years I’m very happy to volunteer, from my perspective, for the best charity in the UK and I would like to thank all staff and volunteers for their contributions to making a big difference in the lives of many.’
Ana Valeria Luciani, Chair, Welcoming Board

Creative Space – Volunteers sharing all kinds of creative activities with Welcoming participants
‘My first impression of the Welcoming was the incredible energetic atmosphere which I immediately wanted to be part of. It is a place where people from all over the world can come together and socialise in the perfect environment. It is filled with a great variety of activities and I feel honoured to be part of this through piano. Piano has been a passion of mine for many years and it has been an incredible experience as a volunteer to be able to share my passion with such enthusiastic participants.’
Susan Khader, Creative Space volunteer

Conversation Cafe – Volunteers supporting English learners through shared activities and discussion
‘The Conversation Café jumps with talk, gossip and, when things get going, useful everyday English. One-to-one or one to many, volunteers join in with chat that equips people with words and phrases for their new lives in Edinburgh and Scotland.’
Mark Meredith, Conversation Cafe Volunteer

English language classes – Qualified and experienced volunteers teaching all levels from complete beginners to advanced
‘I have volunteered at The Welcoming for 2 years now, teaching English to Beginners on a Friday morning. I love it. The students are of all ages and from many countries. They are enthusiastic and hard working and incredibly supportive of each other. They are very appreciative of the opportunity and make me feel valued. It’s great to see their confidence grow and their English skills develop. The Welcoming staff are lively, helpful and encouraging. It’s the highlight of my week.’
Jenny Tizard, ESOL Teacher

Teaching at the Welcoming brings a class of eager faces from all over the world. I love the challenge, am inspired and humbled by the motivation and tenacity of the students and enjoy the fun of trying to make English classes as relevant and accessible as possible. It makes my day!
Marysia Nash, ESOL Teacher

Welcoming Friendship – Volunteers supporting newcomers through friendship and shared activities
‘It is nice to bring a smile to a face by sharing some special moments with new friends.’

Sabine Gundel, Befriending Volunteer

Welcoming Choir – Volunteers bringing together newcomers and locals to enjoy singing and celebrating our global diversity
‘In the space of one year, the Welcoming Choir has grown in number, performed at events, featured on the news and is soon to host our own Welcoming Choir concert at the end of November. As a volunteer, I’ve never once felt like I have been volunteering on a Wednesday night for the very simple reason that there’s no other place I’d rather be. Through the Welcoming Association, we’ve created our own little international musical community in the heart of Edinburgh, made up of people from all corners of the globe with different backgrounds and talents. Their infectious enthusiasm and warmth makes the choir a success and it’s what brings people back week after week, including me!’
Andrew Dickie, Welcoming Choir organiser

Scotland for Newcomers – volunteers accompanying newcomers out and about around town, sharing knowledge and insights into Edinburgh life and Scottish culture
‘Volunteering for The Welcoming motivates me to ascend my city’s hills, explore its many cycle-paths and Green Zones, or attend winter exhibitions… Why? Because I accompany groups of bright, alert, inquisitive foreign nationals whose appetites for knowledge – whether local (Edinburgh), or wider (Scotland/UK) – seem absolutely limitless!’
Douglas Todd, Scotland for Newcomers volunteer

‘As a Community Education student, the Welcoming enabled me to apply theory to practice. My main task at the Welcoming was to conduct interviews and write up case studies. This gave me the opportunity to get to know some of the many Welcoming participants, their journeys in Edinburgh, and how the Welcoming impacts their lives. It was wonderful to hear their stories. As a newcomer myself, I feel part of the Welcoming community and even though my placement finished in May, I am always trying to make time to visit the Welcoming and join some of their many activities (especially the Welcoming Choir!).’
Melina Maiworm, University of Edinburgh Community Education student on placement at the Welcoming

‘The Welcoming is the best way for the Syrian people to start feeling settled in Edinburgh and I am glad to be a contact between the Welcoming and the Syrian families. I have helped with the befriending programme and now a lot of Syrian families have Scottish friends to help them to get to know the area, practise English and be happy here.’
Mohamad Al Houlani, Welcoming volunteer

‘The Welcoming is the best organisation that I’ve seen ever, I learned so much, I’m so happy because of time that I spent there, I really appreciate it, I hope God bless all of the staff.’
Pari Yasi, Welcoming volunteer