We welcome all young refugees and asylum seekers at any stage of the asylum process and regardless of their English language level. Our groups are safe spaces to have fun, develop language skills, learn about the UK, meet others from their country, make new friends from around the world and get advice.
We aim to improve the life chances of 11 – 25 year old refugees and asylum seekers in and around Brent and Croydon. We achieve this by running fun and educational activities, offering peer-led language learning, and providing one-to-one casework.
Many of our activities are run in partnership with other organisations to provide holistic support and ensure young people can access other services and opportunities. Our mixed youth groups in both locations benefit from workshops and support from Coram Children’s Legal Centre, the Children’s Society, Compass and Breaking Barriers. The peer-led English coaching in Brent is run in partnership with the College of North West London (Willesden and Wembley Park campuses), the girls’ group in Croydon is jointly run with the Refugee Council, and the girls cycling sessions with the Bike Project.
The young refugees and asylum seekers we support face many challenges including language barriers, lack of education, social isolation, economic hardship and navigating complex legal and care systems.
Our activities improve young refugees and asylum seekers’ social and communication skills:
“It [residential trip] helped me forget my problems and improve my English.” (male, 20)
“When I came to this club I didn’t have confidence. Now I have more confidence to speak with a group.” (female, 16)
Our activities reduce young refugees and asylum seekers’ social isolation and enable them to make friends:
“Young people gain a lot from having a positive environment to spend time in where they can learn new skills and spend time with each other. Young Roots creates an environment where they belong and the groups are very popular. Young people in Croydon have places to go where they feel safe.” (Caseworker, British Red Cross)
Our activities increase young refugees and asylum seekers’ support networks and ability to problem-solve:
“I have learned what to do when I feel stressed, how to sleep better and I’ve got better at dealing with stuff.” (male, 17)