7 Mar 2011

The Children's Society’s new project, Strong Voices, Strong Lives, helping unaccompanied asylum seeking children in Birmingham and Coventry, has officially launched. The Deputy Lord Mayor of Coventry officially opened the project at an event on Wednesday 23 February.  

‘Strong Voices, Strong Lives’ will help unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC), one of the most marginalised groups in the UK. Funded for the next two and a half years by the Big Lottery, the project has been set up to provide social and emotional support to UASC aged between 14-18 in Coventry and Birmingham.

The launch event brought together professionals working with UASC in the West Midlands to learn more about the issues faced and how The Children's Society’s will help.

The project will run two weekly youth clubs which support UASC to integrate in to their local communities. They will also receive social and emotional support from their peers, staff and volunteers. The work will support young people to gain skills to support independent living e.g. cooking and looking after a home etc.

The youth clubs will be run by volunteers, who will also offer UASC one-to-one support. This individual support will help young people to know their local area and help with English etc. 

The project offers legal advice and advocacy as well as accessing other services run by the Refugee Centre in Coventry.

Anna Munro, Project Co-ordinator, The Children's Society’s Strong Voices, Strong Lives, said: “Many of the young people who we will help are isolated and vulnerable. Some have mental health issues. The youth clubs and the other support that we offer will give them a place where they can develop positive relationships and networks and be supported to access other mainstream services. We hope that it will be beneficial to both the young people and the community in Coventry.”

Ends

For more information, or to confirm your attendance, please contact Rafi Cooper in The Children's Society press office. Tel: 020 7841 4526. Email: rafi.cooper@childsoc.org.uk

Notes to editors

The Children’s Society wants to create a society where children can be children, childhood is respected and every child is valued for who they are. Our approach is driven by our Christian values and by the voices of children and young people, who are at the heart of all we do. In 2009 The Children’s Society published The Good Childhood Inquiry, the UK's first independent national inquiry into childhood. Its aims were to renew society's understanding of modern childhood and to inform, improve and inspire all our relationships with children. The Children's Society is continuing to improve this understanding of issues affecting children through all of its ongoing work.