Since arriving in January directly from Kent with very little information, only one set of clothes, no knowledge of the area and not knowing anyone here, these young people have been making the most of every opportunity to settle into their new home. Support workers from the 1625ip South Glos office have been working closely with these young people to adjust to their new environment and access community support.
After a recent trip to Rhosilli Bay on the Gower Peninsula to get to know the surrounding area, support worker Jeremy Wide commented:
"It allowed them to relax and have fun and be young people. They jumped waves and swam in the sea, exploring rock pools, playing on the beach and making new friends with other beach goers. A good day."
As with all young people we support, we don't just help with housing; we also provide opportunities to build and maintain confidence, healthy relationships and life skills. This can involve anything from cooking healthy meals from food surplus delivered by Foodcycle
and Fareshare SW
, to upcycling old furniture, to taking part in sport. A particular favourite has been our 'Make My Day' workshops where young people work in small groups to plan, budget for, organise and then take part in an activity with other young people.
Young people are also encouraged to access the various opportunities available across the local area such as a drama group at Bristol's historic Old Vic
theatre and a local under 18s football club.
One of the biggest barriers to community integration is having limited or no English skills when they arrive, so we have worked with local education providers City of Bristol College
to help them enrol on ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) training. We also work alongside other agencies such as Borderlands
and the Refugee Welcome Centre
at the Malcolm X Centre, providing a wide-ranging support network across the community as well as English lessons that they were able to access straight away before they were enrolled on full time college courses in September.
We currently deliver valuable but limited opportunities but we are aware that the need is increasing rapidly. We are looking forward to building on the support we can provide for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children and young refugees and are in dialogue with a range of community partners to achieve this.
Two of the young people who originally arrived in January have now been granted leave to remain while the other two are still waiting to find out if their applications for asylum have been accepted. Our South Glos office is now supporting a further two Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children.
The welcome they have received and access to these kinds of activities and support, both within 1625ip and the wider community, is vital to helping these young people to overcome the trauma they have experienced and make a positive start in their new home.
For more information:
For press enquiries and more information about 1625ip contact:
Tia Psihogios, Funding and Communication Officer, on email@example.com
or 0117 317 8800