Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) call for volunteers to monitor immigration facilities in Manston, Dover and Folkestone

Tug Haven marquee (Image HM Inspectorate of Prisons)

The Dover local Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) is looking for people from all walks of life who live locally (within 45 miles) to join them. The team monitor immigration detention facilities in Dover, Folkestone and Manston.

Members monitor activity across the detention facilities, talk to detainees and make sure they are treated fairly  and are given the support they need. Every year the Board writes a report that goes directly to the Immigration Minister.

Successful applicants have full access to places of detention in order to undertake the role, and although it’s unpaid, travel, childcare and loss of earnings expenses are available; comprehensive training and support is provided.

The Board can also offer some flexibility in the monitoring role – visits can be undertaken at any time of day or night, members can prioritise visiting those sites closest to home and meetings can take place virtually.

William Baker, a current IMB member at Dover, said: “The plight of people arriving across the Channel in small boats has attracted a great deal of publicity. IMB members are able to scrutinise the treatment of the people behind the headlines.

“It could be the most rewarding thing you have ever done. You can make a real difference to life in detention, not just in responding to an individual request or complaint, but also by raising concerns about everything from sleeping arrangements to those at risk of self harm.”

Heather-Gail de Souza, who is also part of the IMB at Dover, added: “You see places of detention from the inside and work as part of a really dedicated IMB team. Anyone over 18 can apply – detainees come from all backgrounds and so should our members.”

Monitors in immigration detention IMBs across England and Wales come from all walks of life including students, firefighters, small business owners, teachers, health professionals and people who are looking to strengthen their skills as part of a life or career change.

Key qualities needed include analysis, decision making, communication and teamworking skills, and a commitment to independence and inclusion, as well as an open-minded approach.

Candidates undergo a selection and vetting process, which can take a number of months, ahead of being formally appointed by Ministers in line with the Government’s public appointments process.

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  1. Some of us Brits speak other languages. I speak French and Spanish. Audio translation tools are also available on Google etc for when there’s not an interpreter around. Some of the immigrants I’ve worked with speak a reasonable amount of English and help out the others. We muddle through.

  2. What a shame that the government are unable to introduce an inspectorate body, to interview people sleeping on the streets. They could make sure they are being treated fairly, and given what they need.

    Oh no wait, let’s completely cut the funding for homeless people, but still offer help to illegal migrants.

    • Local people on the streets are not worthy of help, they are most likely English. Help can only be given to illegals.

      • Homeless people are treated fairly, they are given a tent. But, migrants are given a place with heating, sanitation, food, lighting. Where’s the levelling up in this case?

    • Exactly, UK has been going bonkers for a while now. I guess there is not as much Kudos in helping the homeless, job satisfaction is low? Whereas helping illegal immigrants would make the person feel like a hero and plenty of motivated individuals grateful for the help.

    • They know there are plenty of people that I mentioned in previous post willing to do it voluntarily. We should probably be grateful that its not even more cost to the tax payer.

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