As LASSN’s new Befriending project, Welcome and Connect helps refugees and asylum seekers with accessing support services, education and leisure opportunities in Leeds.

The project provides the option of one to one as well as group support to build participants confidence and independence, so they feel better connected with the city and its diverse range of communities and services.

The Welcome and Connect project is based on what volunteers and participants have told us is important, as well as what we have learned from the evaluations of Befriending and Connecting Opportunities. You can read more about this below:

Welcome and connect vision
LASSN Befriending evaluation

Welcome and connect volunteers support with welcoming refugees and asylum seekers to the city and assist them with making new and meaningful connections. This could be 1:1 support and/or group support in meeting people, attending community events or taking part in workshops that fulfil their personal or professional development goals. You can read more about the role here.

Welcome & Connect

How does one to one Welcome and Connect work?

The Participant Journey



Referred through agency, social prescribers or other routes.


Initial Assessment

The volunteer manager assesses needs and eligibility of participant as well as allocation of either 1:1 or group support.


Goal Setting Meeting

Establishing requirements and aspirations of each participant and to prioritize achievable goals while on the project.


Potential Matches

Assessing compatibility with a suitable Welcome and Connect volunteer.


Introductory Match Meeting

Meeting with potential volunteer(s) to discuss goals, meet up venues, activity plan, commitment and time frame.


Review / Closure

Reviews take place every 3 months to ensure participant is happy with progress made before a final closing review at 9 months.

What our service users say…
“First I was worried and scared, scared of meeting people. When I met Meryl it was the best thing! She helps me with appointments I’m much better now.”

Volunteer Journey



Register interest through website or contacting the Volunteer Manger (via email or phone call)


Find Out

Initial conversation to discuss the role, your application, interests, skills, availability and preferences.



Invited to 3 mandatory training sessions to support with:

-Understanding LASSN Ethos

-Information on the asylum journey

-Volunteer roles and responsibilities

-Ensuring you are safe & supported


Participant search

Awaiting to be matched with participant with similar interests, locality and availability.

This can take 4-6 weeks.


Introductory Match Meeting

Meeting to discuss how you can support and empower participant to reach their goals on the project as well as logistics of travel to meet up location, activity suggestions, agreement of commitment and time frame.


Review/ Closure

Reviews will take place every 3 months to ensure you are supported, able to give feedback and progress is monitored before a final 9 month closing review.

What are the Welcome & Connect groups?

We have our regular meet ups called Tea & Talk where participants can meet other refugees and asylum seekers. This is a great way to create a support network, meet new people and arrange a variety of activities together. Our group volunteers introduce new topics of conversation and support with arranging local trips to community events in and around Leeds.

Welcome & Connect also regularly invites a variety of partner organisations, charities, businesses and professionals to run workshops for personal or professional development at the group sessions.

If you would like to be a Welcome & Connect volunteer (1:1 support or organising group activities) you can register and view the role descriptions below.

If you would like to find out more about this project and how you can get involved, please email us via: [email protected]

Welcome & Connect

I want to find out more

I want to refer to Welcome & Connect

What difference does Welcome and Connect make?

I want to volunteer

Contact Information