See our Inspiration Hub and Group Activities section for examples of activities!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this section is intended for guidance only. It is not a substitute for professional advice and we cannot accept any responsibility for loss occasioned as a result of any person acting or refraining from acting upon it.

Running a steering group

See the Governance section for resources on structuring your steering group and running successful steering group meetings. 

Employing a worker

Many groups apply for and receive funding and decide to pay a worker to work on a project.

Employment status

The employment status of a worker will determine whether they need to be paid through PAYE and whether they have employment rights eg. the right to holiday, statutory sick pay, redundancy etc.

The employment status is not determined by whoever is paying the worker or the worker themselves but by the nature of the work and the way a contract has been set up.

You can check the employment status of a worker using this government tool

It is important that you understand the different factors affecting employment status and how this could affect your group before setting up an agreement to pay a worker.

Planning a worker role

You will need:

  • A role description
  • A person specification
  • Details about pay
  • Details about the organisation
  • The application process
  • Contact details for queries

A short-term project involving a self-employed worker may be more open and flexible but you need to be clear what will be involved and what is expected.

Equal Opportunities

It is good practice to follow equal opportunities guidance for a self-employed worker and essential if you are planning to employ someone. This means:

  • advertising opportunities widely
  • having a recruitment policy eg. recruitment is done by application and interview of shortlisted applicants with a panel of 3 group members
  • shortlisting and interviews are done using a standardised template or scoring system that ensures fairness


Government information on self-employment

Information from the CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau) on different types of employment

Advice on recruitment from NCVO

Managing volunteers

Some of your group's activities will need volunteers. It is recommended that you think through and agree your procedures before involving any volunteers and you may wish to have a written Volunteering Policy. This could include:

  • Volunteer recruitment procedure
  • How will you record volunteer contact details?
  • Creating role descriptions so that volunteers are clear about what they will be doing and what is expected of them
  • Support for volunteers - what should volunteers do if they have a problem or need help with something? 
  • Volunteer expenses
  • Any training or induction volunteers will need

See our Policies section for more resources


'Before you recruit volunteers' from NCVO

NCVO advice on recruiting and managing volunteers and supervising and supporting volunteers

Swansea CVS (Council for Voluntary Service) info sheet on volunteers who are refugees or seeking asylum

Safeguarding and DBS checks

If your group is going to involve volunteers in your activities, it is important that you think about safeguarding. You may want to have a Safeguarding Policy. 

The NCVO has a comprehensive guide to help you think through your approach to safeguarding. 

You may consider undertaking DBS checks for volunteers. This should be part of your wider safeguarding procedures. You can only complete a DBS check for certain roles and activities. You can find out what is eligible via the government DBS website. To complete a DBS check, you'll need to go through an umbrella body (unless you complete more than 100 checks a year).

See our Policies section for more resources. 


NCVO information on Safeguarding and Volunteers

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) website


Please see the Finance section for resources about insurance.

Organising events

As part of your group's activities, you may want to organise an event. You will need to decide from the beginning what the purpose of any particular event you organise is:

  • awareness raising
  • networking or social
  • fundraising

This will determine who you invite, what your budget is, what your goals are etc. Some events will combine different purposes eg. an Eritrean evening at a church could raise awareness as well as raising funds through selling tickets.

Bear in mind that any sanctuary seekers you invite may have limited personal funds so you may want to offer free tickets and arrange transport to help them to attend. 

Consent for photos

When it comes to taking photos and videos at events, it is important to get permission to use people's images for anything that will be made public. In the case of asylum seekers in particular it can be important for their case to not appear publicly, and of course care needs to be taken when taking pictures of children.

We recommend at any events where you will be taking photos or making videos to make this very clear to attendees, and you can make posters asking people to come and find you if they wish not to be pictured.

You can find some templates in our Tools and Templates section.


'How to run a stress-free event' and 'How to Plan a Charity Event' from NCVO

Creative Workshops

Writing East Midlands and City of Sanctuary groups in Nottingham, Leicester and Derby ran three writing residencies in 2016-17. As a result they have published two books: 'Riding on Solomon's Carpet', an anthology and 'Write Here: a practical guide to running creative writing workshops with refugees and asylum seekers' (downloadable).