1 Oct 2009

Young refugees living in Newcastle have organised a fashion show and presentation to mark the handover of the Kumasi project from Save the Children to The Children's Society.

The young people helped by the project have planned this special evening for local supporters on Thursday 1 October at the Brunswick Methodist Church, Newcastle. The fashion show will reflect the cultures of those supported by Kumasi, and the presentation will describe how the project has had a positive effect on their lives.

The Kumasi project supporting young refugees living in Newcastle will be run by The Children’s Society from 1 October 2009 onwards.

.Kumasi has been successfully run by Save the Children for the last two and a half years, but will now become one of over 70 projects managed by The Children’s Society across England.

The Kumasi project, based in the centre of Newcastle, provides vital support to young refugees and asylum-seekers who have had to come to the UK alone without their parents. The project provides a weekly opportunity for these young people to meet together and take part in positive activities which give them confidence and practical help.

In addition the project offers one to one support to help them through their asylum claim and to integrate into society. The name of the project, Kumasi, is from the Ashanti language, Twi, and means ‘the meeting place under the tree’ or ‘living tree’ a social and problem solving focus for a community.

Save the Children is to refocus its work in the UK on ending severe and persistent child poverty and The Children’s Society is ideally placed to take over the running of this project. The charity is already working with asylum-seeking children and their families in Newcastle, through its Help and Hope Project.

Richard Haigh, Programme Manager for The Children’s Society in Newcastle, said: “Kumasi is a fantastic project, which offers young refugees and asylum-seekers with no family in the UK friendship and support at a time when they are often lonely and vulnerable. The Children’s Society is very proud to be taking over this extremely worthwhile project and we hope in the coming year it can get even bigger and better. We are delighted the young people have organised this special event to celebrate the continuation of this project’s vital work.”

Rona Blackwood, Save the Children’s Protection Manager said:
“Save the Children has worked hard to ensure where possible the support provided by us to these very vulnerable young people is maintained. As a result we are delighted that The Children's Society is taking over this project. Save the Children is confident that under their guidance the project will continue to flourish and meet the needs of these very isolated and traumatised young people."

Notes to Editors:

For further information contact: Rachael Bruce, Senior Media Officer, The Children’s Society on 020 7841 4427/ rdb@childsoc.org.uk.