20 young refugees and asylum seekers in Oxford currently meet each week with their RSN volunteer mentor. Since we started this project in March 2017, 23 young people have been supported through this project to do well in education, grow in confidence and feel more at home in their community.
Over the past few weeks, the plight of the Windrush generation has cast light on the complexity of the immigration system, the impact of the ‘hostile environment’ on people in communities across our country, and the fact that individuals are forcibly removed to countries where they have few, if any, support networks and opportunities. Many of those affected by these realities came to this country as unaccompanied children seeking asylum.
In 2017, 2,206 unaccompanied children claimed asylum in the UK. Many of these children have to wait a long time for a decision on their cases, leading to uncertainty and mental health issues. The government is currently facing legal action over extensive delays in processing child asylum claims.
A small number of young people we work with have been affected by a legal change restricting their access to education. We spoke to the Observer about the negative impact that the withdrawal of the right to study will have on young asylum seekers for whom education is one of the most positive aspects of their lives.
As sixth form winds to a close many young people are looking to the next step, university. But for some, worries about getting the required grades are just a part of their uncertainty about the future.
We've signed ECPAT UK's open letter to the Home Secretary, asking her to reconsider the decision to return a survivor of child trafficking to a country where he has no family or support networks and to reform the support provided to all children identified as victims of modern slavery in the UK.
Jon and his colleagues at the civil service have got stuck into supporting RSN over the past few months. In this guest blog post, he tells us what they've been up to and extends an invitation to a film screening on 9th February. Join us!
The Article 26 project, which equips universities to develop and implement scholarships for asylum-seeking students, has just launched a set of guiding principles which provide the foundations for any sanctuary initiative designed to support the success of forced migrants in higher education.
What do we prioritise in our work and research? How do we bridge the gap between the UK and overseas? What difference does educational support make? We talked to Al-Fanar Media about our history, work and ethos.
This new component of our higher education programme aims to enable young refugees, asylum seekers and survivors of trafficking who are facing barriers in accessing higher education to overcome these obstacles and move forward in their education through face-to-face specialist advice, guidance and support. And read on for information about a great event at KCL that we'll be part of in February.
This year, we’re part of The Big Give, a week-long funding challenge. Between midday on Tuesday 28th November and midday on Tuesday 5th December, we’ll be trying to raise £2,000 for RSN. This will then be matched by 10 RSN ‘champions’ and a charitable trust, giving us a grand total of £4,000! So, if someone gives £10, we’ll get £20. If someone gives £40, we’ll get £80. And so on…
Ben and David Payne ran the Hull Marathon to say thank you to Hull NICU for the care they showed Ben's son Felix and to raise money for Refugee Support Network in memory of their incredible brother, John (pictured right).
This lovely evening at Upstairs at The Ritzy in Brixton, organised by Verena, a former mentor and long-term friend of RSN, celebrated the shared heritage, beauty and important human developments from the ancient Middle East, through art, music and spoken word.
RSN is part of the Croydon Young Refugees Network, an umbrella group of around 30 organisations working to improve opportunities and outcomes for young refugees and asylum seekers in the Croydon area. We were signatories to the group's statement in response to the recent attack of a 17 year old Kurdish boy.
A new report, Invisible Wounds, from Save the Children has revealed how the war in Syria has ruined childhoods, leading to ‘toxic stress’ across a generation of children, leaving a life-long impact on their mental and physical health.
Huge thanks to everyone who came to this brilliant gig with Yakobo, Jess Hall and David Benjamin Blower at the fabulous Half Moon in Putney. The proceeds from ticket sales (an amazing £700!!!) will go directly to our work of helping young refugees build more hopeful futures through education. We were so grateful to everyone who came along and to the artists who generously shared their time and talents.
Benedict Cumberbatch turned 40 this year and to celebrate it was announced that "the fandom" would come together and, instead of giving gifts, raises as much money as they could for charity. We were delighted to be chosen as one of these charities, alongside Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) and Lesvos Solidarity, and even more delighted when the campaign smashed its target by 2400% and gave each organisation £8,000.
Thea is an exceptional 13 year old. When she heard about the lives of young asylum seekers and refugees in the UK, the situations they've come from and how our work is helping them to access and progress in education, she was inspired to act.