HostNation is a site for introducing asylum seekers and refugees who may be lonely and have limited connections in the community, to British residents willing to socialise, spend time together and show them around.
We are a befriending service that connects people.
If you would like the opportunity to meet British people, learn more about Britain and British ways and explore the city where you live, then we would like to hear from you.
We recommend that you and your referrer fill in this form together. If necessary, the referrer can help explain the form so that you understand the questions being asked. Only the starred questions are essential but the more personal and background information you can provide, the better the match we can make.
All information provided is treated as highly confidential and securely encrypted.
HostNation recognise that whilst asylum seekers and refugees over the age of 18 are not technically classified as ‘vulnerable adults’ many of them are nevertheless vulnerable. For this reason all befrienders on our database are screened and checked.
They provide two references that are followed up and they also upload their passport ID and a photo of themselves and their DBS/PVG certificate if they have one. They fill in a detailed screening and profiling questionnaire and HostNation calls each applicant to discuss the role and ensure suitability. They commit to online training and to read the befriending guide which has a lot of information on seeking asylum in the UK, the problems many asylum seekers and refugees encounter, how the system works, best practice befriending, boundaries, signposting to specialist support services etc.
Many of our befrienders are recruited from refugee support networks or come from caring professions or have a background of community volunteering and many of them have a DBS. We do not ask them to have a DBS-check specifically to join HostNation as this is primarily an introductory service. We assume that we are matching informed and consenting adults who will take responsibility for their friendship.
We do not take children (under 18) or people with substance abuse issues and advise against referring the highly vulnerable or those with mental health problems. If you feel it is necessary for the person you are referring to be matched with someone from our database who has a DBS, please state this in the any other information section at the end of the referral form.
Scope of Services
HostNation is primarily an introductory service – putting socially isolated asylum seekers, refugees or migrants in need of friendship, in contact with local, volunteer befrienders offering friendship. This is an altruistic, social arrangement and there is no payment or professional service provided.
Refugees referred to the service must understand that befrienders commit to meet their befriendee regularly (once every week or two weeks) over a period of 3 months. Befrienders offer time spent together to listen, to talk, to practice English, to explore the area and to make visits. They are there to make their friends feel welcome and valued as human beings.
After 3 months it is up to befriender and befriendee to decide whether or not they maintain contact. Befrienders are not social workers, case workers or legal experts and cannot help with the progress of asylum claims or housing applications but may be able to help their friends access expert support should it be needed.
HostNation is not responsible for verifying the accuracy of information given by befrienders or referrers. It will do what it can to ensure a successful match and arrange the first meeting but it cannot take responsibility for managing the continuing relationship between befriender and befriendee. Support after the initial meeting is limited; further meet ups are arranged directly between befriender and befriendee. HostNation will check on the status of the relationship at 1 month and 3 month intervals with both referrer and befriender.
Exclusion of Liability
As HostNation is an introductory service, we do not accept responsibility for any relationships formed as a result of using our web site. To that end, please note that we hereby exclude all and any losses, liabilities, claims, damages, expenses or costs (whether as a consequence of our negligence or otherwise) arising directly or indirectly in connection with any content on or provided through the web site (including any relationship which is initiated by or results from use of the web site).
At HostNation we will only collect, process and store information about you that you have willingly provided. We aim to be open about collecting this information and clear about what we will use it for. You do not need to give us any information to use our website, although as a result of your use of the website we may collect cookies and other related information (see below).
We will not share your information with third parties or outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) without your permission unless we are legally permitted or required to do so. There are times when we may be forced to share your information with police, regulatory bodies or legal advisors without your permission (sometimes referred to as ‘breaching confidentiality’).