Following my experience with Team VARS, I started shadowing the different teams making up Team SRP (the Syrian Resettlement Project which is now know generally as the UK Resettlement Scheme). EYST has teams in Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Powys (split into Ystradgynlais, Llandrindod
and Newtown teams).
Team SRP helps refugees with settling and integrating in the UK as part of the Government’s resettlement scheme. This is achieved by supporting the families to access key services including housing, health, education, and community safety services, as well ESOL classes and moving into
volunteering and employment. While providing support to the families they assist clients to secure a home to relocate, purchasing appliances such as toasters and microwaves on their behalf, completing paperwork for their entitlement to benefits and obtaining their national insurance number etc. The team work closely with the families with regular contact, virtual support via WhatsApp/ phone calls/video calls/ zooms etc due to COVID-19 (one to one during normality), signposting, advice and
whole-family support service ensuring that all needs are met, and opportunities accessed working in partnership with the local authorities in each area, as well as with housing, DWP, Health services, community safety agencies and the voluntary organisations.
From observing phone callsI could see how patiently Team SRP manage distressed clients, for example those who are eagerly waiting to secure accommodation for themselves. I learnt certain factors such as disability and over-crowding as well as any problems at the current accommodation are taken into account by the housing associations when assessing who should be given priority. I was also able to observe the daily phone calls made to clients. I noted that clients were dependent on the team as a result of moving to a new country and facing a language barrier. These factors were a cause of great distress for many clients. The team were able to offer comfort and consolation, and if need be arranged an appointment at an alternative day and time to discuss any pertinent issues
with the clients.
The majority of the clients spoke Syrian Arabic and so the team helped in translating phone calls and letters addressed to the clients. I observed many phone calls, where the support workers from Team SRP acted as translators. For example, in a three-way conference call the clients spoke about their concerns, the support workers translated those concerns on their behalf, and the professionals (i.e., GP, nurse, social worker) advised of possible solutions. There were also phone calls during which the team translated questionnaires and completed them on behalf of the clients as they were not familiar with using technology or did not have access to the same. In one instance I noted that the questionnaire was highlighted and translated in Syrian Arabic for a particular client, therefore encouraging him to complete it himself.
All week I observed how Team SRP are successfully able to multi-task between different clients
therefore achieving outcomes for any given situation. They work incredibly hard and support a large number of clients with a great variety of needs and concerns.