Navigating a complex asylum system and adapting to life in the UK create specific challenges for young people seeking refuge. Our work with young people includes those living with families seeking asylum, separated young people in the care of the local authority (UASCs), and refugee young people.
Much research has documented the anxiety felt by children and young people during the asylum process, and in particular the feelings of being in limbo and unable to plan for their future. While children and young people are often remarkably courageous and resilient in the face of adversity, the treatment they receive once in the UK can have both a positive and negative effect on their emotional well-being.
Our work with young people aims to empower them to understand and realise their rights within the immigration and care system, reduce social isolation through a programme of events and activities, and increase their awareness and orientation to the local area and access to youth specific services.
We currently run weekly youth sessions which provide a safe space for young people to meet each other and participate in a range of activities including English lessons, sports, table tennis, crafts, and have included relevant information sessions, such as first aid, access to education, dance and drama workshops, and health promotion advice. We also organise trips to local places of interest. Recent activities have included taking young people cycling, campus trips to Nottingham Trent and Nottingham University, bowling, ice skating, visiting Nottingham Castle and caves, Nottingham Contemporary, and the Fire Station.
Work also includes individual case-work , advocacy, mentoring, guidance and signposting to other relevant services and organisations in the City who we work in partnership with.