Mentors are given full training prior to being matched and then spend about 5 hours a month with their mentee, helping them to feel more at home in the UK. This might mean helping to write a CV, visiting a museum or art gallery, practising English or explaining the peculiarities of British humour.

‘The types of thing we do together have ranged from discussing current affairs so my mentee can practise and improve his English, to having a bite to eat in a traditional Congolese restaurant’ a mentor on the Time Together scheme.

Time Together launched in Nottingham in October 2005. It is delivered in partnership with the Nottingham CVS, an organisation that provides quality and diverse volunteering opportunities which allow people to make positive contributions to their communities.

Nottingham has a diverse refugee community including refugees from Sudan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Iran. Refugees have many talents and skills to contribute to the city community and play a big part in creating Nottingham's dynamic cultural life.

The project has received a great response from the local community and mentors come from all walks of life. The Nottingham Time Together Co-ordinator, says:

'It is very heartening to see so many people coming forward to register as mentors on the scheme in Nottingham, to make refugees feel more at home here and help them to pursue their goals.  It is great to be able to provide ordinary people with the opportunity to do something so positive in the current climate where there is so much fear and stereotyping of others.'

Nottingham is no longer accepting registrations