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Birch Community Hosting Network

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BIRCH is a small, volunteer led charity working across Birmingham to support vulnerable refugees, asylum seekers and undocumented migrants. We run three projects:

  • A weekly ‘Meet and Greet Lunch’ for families at risk of destitution runs at St Martin’s Youth Centre in Highgate, and offers refugee and migrant families a hot meal and play opportunities. Befrienders help with the running of the sessions forming positive relationships with the families by listening, offering empathy and a non-judgemental approach.
  • The Family Befriending Project matches vulnerable young refugees aged 16-25 who have come to the UK without their families with volunteer families. Family befrienders offer a regular (weekly or fortnightly) meal within the family home to a young refugee wanting a taste of family life.
  • The Hosting Network recruits and supports community hosts who share their homes with an individual experiencing destitution, normally due to difficulties within the asylum process. Offering a spare room to people who would, often, be street homeless otherwise, is a life enriching experience and can be beneficial to everyone involved. Stays are usually from two weeks to a year, depending on the time set by the host. Each placement is carefully supported by an experienced staff member to ensure the happiness of both the guest and 3host, and works with the guest to ensure that they are able to move onto more stable accommodation by the end of their placement.


Birch seeks volunteers for their three projects – follow the links below for more information about what is involved and how to apply: