Volunteer with Morton Hall Detainee Visitor Group (MHDVG)

We are a group of volunteers that visit people detained at Morton Hall Immigration Removal (detention) Centre and we are looking for people to join us in supporting people in detention.

Morton Hall IRC is in Swinderby, Lincolnshire. It is one of the larger detention centres in the UK and its location is quite remote. The purpose of the visitors group is to support the people detained there by providing a link to the outside world. We visit those detained at Morton Hall and stay in contact by phone to reduce the isolation that is all too common in detention centres.

Detention invariably affects people mentally and emotionally. Visits from people who care, people that aren’t part of the system that keeps them looked up, are invaluable for people in detention’s emotional wellbeing.

New visitors will be supported by being paired with someone who has already started visiting. We also meet regularly to share experiences and ideas and to support each other with any difficulties. No-one is expected to take on anything that they aren’t comfortable with.

Travel expenses will be reimbursed on production of receipts.

If you are interested in getting involved, please contact mhvg@riseup.net

Roles for volunteers

Visitors: Initially each visitor would commit to visiting one person in detention only, once every three weeks, and will phone once a week in-between visits. Current visiting times are 13:15-16.15 every day with later opening times on Thursday and Sunday (see ‘Social Visits’ page).

Each visitor will be the person responsible for maintaining communications with the  person that  they visit, and will keep a record of the meetings and of the support given to the person in detention. By completing our feedback forms we can support you in your visiting and keep a record of a person in detention’s experiences where appropriate.

Phone supporter: Contacting people in detention by phone, asking questions to establish what their needs are and/or providing support over the phone as an alternative to an actual visit.

Driver: These volunteers are willing to bring others to Morton Hall for visits.

Databases/spreadsheets maintainer: creating, maintain and update people in detention database or volunteer spreadsheet.

Website administrator: Help keep our website up to date.

General Administrator: drafting letters and e-mails; ensuring that faxes reach the right visitor; that information is kept confidential; updating travel sheets; updating/filing feedback forms and other relevant admin materials which support our work.

If you have other skills to offer, please get in touch.

Resources for current volunteers

  • Guide to Phoning detainees
  • Your health as a volunteer page (stub)
  • Using crabgrass (stub)
  • Handbooks – contact mhvg@riseup.net if you would like to buy a copy of the AVID handbook for visitors (cost £5 each).
  • Internal (forms) – after visit; code of conduct, confidentiality (in progress)
  • Phone book (downloadable file – not finished)

Useful external links:

Links

(Asylum) Support Organisations

Bail

Detention

Health and Medical

Legal General

Legal Immigration

Legal Research

Migrant Organisations

Undocumented migrants – Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI). Telephone advice line, dedicated to irregular or undocumented migrants in London. Advice is completely free and confidential. Phone 020 7553 7470 between 10:00 am – 1:00 pm Monday, Tuesday & Thursday.

Morton Hall, Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs) and Prisons

Visiting

Visitor Groups/small volunteer organisations

Voluntary Return

Other

Contact us

Email mhvg@riseup.net

Telephone: 07758 604 293

Neither are constantly monitored but your call/email will be returned within a day or two.