RSN is adapting its work in light of COVID-19. Please click here to find out more.  To find out more about how COVID-19 is impacting our educational mentoring programme, please scroll to the bottom of this page.

RSN offers tailor-made educational mentoring opportunities to young refugees and asylum seekers across London, Birmingham, Oxford and the East of England (Peterborough and Cambridge) who need extra support with their education.

How does mentoring work?

  • RSN takes referrals of young people from colleges, social services and a variety of other organisations and individuals
  • We meet the young person for an initial assessment of their educational aspirations and current circumstances
  • We match the individual young person with a trained, local volunteer mentor 
  • The mentor meets them each week, in a public place, to support them towards their educational goal
  • We ask for a minimum commitment of six month from both the young person and the mentor.  After six months the relationship is reviewed to see if both mentor and mentee would like to continue

Who is mentoring for?

  • Mentoring is for refugees, asylum seekers and survivors of trafficking aged 14-25 who need extra support with their education
  • We prioritise young people who are in the UK without their families and are looked after by social services (unaccompanied asylum-seeking children) 
 “I am happy when I meet my mentor.  I want to pass my exams this year so that next year I can study mechanics and my mentor helps me so much with this. This is good for me!” (16 year old boy from Afghanistan)

How can you get a mentor?

If you are a young person who would like a mentor, please talk to your teacher or social worker or get in touch with us directly. 

Alternatively if you are a professional wishing to refer a young person for educational mentoring please get in touch with the appropriate area coordinator:

COVID-19 and mentoring FAQs

1. Are we accepting new referrals of young people at this time? 

We are accepting new referrals in Peterborough & Cambridge. These referrals will likely be onboarded during this time of virtual mentoring. For all other areas (pan-London, Birmingham, Oxford), we are accepting new referrals but they will be placed on a waiting list and not be onboarded at this time. 

2. Are we continuing to 'onboard' young people from our waiting lists? 

We are currently only onboarding young people on a case by case basis, based on staff capacity and if we already have trained volunteer mentors in that young person's area.  New volunteer mentor recruitment is suspended at this time, which limits the number of young people on waiting lists that we can onboard. 

3. How have we adapted educational mentoring? 

All current mentoring pairs have transitioned to virtual mentoring, if both the mentee and mentor are able to do so. Ongoing reviews of mentoring pairs, development training for mentors, and mentor/mentee check-ins have all gone virtual.

If you have particular questions about COVID-19's impact on the Educational Mentoring Programme, please contact Andrew Cooper. 

Refugee Support Network is a charity registered in England & Wales under charity number 1132509 and company number 06879651 at 1st Floor, The Salvation Army Building, London NW10 4JJ. We use cookies to improve your experience using this website. To learn more, read our privacy policy.
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