Volunteer

COVID-19 UPDATE

WE CURRENTLY HAVE LIMITED VISITING TO DETENTION CENTRES.

MOST DETENTION SUPPORT IS BEING DONE OVER THE PHONE.

Become a Visitor

SDS visit people who are being held in Yarl’s Wood, Harmondsworth and Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centres. Visiting is central to who we are as a group. The nature of support we provide depends on the specific needs, desires and circumstances of the person being visited.

Visiting can be difficult: as a visitor you will meet people who have been through multiple traumas both in their home country and the UK. However, there are so many positive things you can do as a visitor.

How deeply you get involved will depend on what you can commit to and what the person you visit wants and needs. You may wish to only offer emotional support to the person you see, and this may be all they want from you. Being a reliable friend and someone ‘on the outside’ to look out for the person you visit in a hugely difficult and isolating time is extremely important.

A significant group objective, however, is to offer practical support and solidarity as well. This can require greater commitment and time. As legally unqualified volunteers we cannot give any legal advice – giving legal advice if you are
unqualified/unregistered can result in a jail sentence.

Map of all the areas where the visitors will be going

Join a Working Group

Visiting is central to the work we do, but there are also several active working groups within SDS. This includes groups working on finance, events planning, fundraising, social media, traning and more.

We have fortnightly organising meetings, usually on a Wednsday evening at SOAS. Email us for details of the next meeting. Please note that currently due to Covid-19, we have moved all of our meetings online.

Graphic of purple fists, standing for solidarity for detainees