The Children's Society West Midlands Refugee Programme
Programme manager: Melissa Perring
We strive to make childhood better by working directly with children, young people and their families who have fled their home countries for reasons of war, persecution and torture.
We provide social activities, advice, information and advocacy support on a broad range of issues which impact on their lives. The West Midlands Young Refugees Project is currently working in five main areas to support refugee and asylum seeking children:
- Press Play: working with asylum seeking children housed in temporary accommodation in Birmingham
- Birmingham Kick-start Local Change Programme Pilot: working with children in a local school
- Strong Lives Strong Voices (formerly BUMP): befriending young unaccompanied asylum seekers and refugees in Birmingham and Coventry
- Birmingham Integrated Mentoring Service (BIMS): mentoring unaccompanied asylum seeking children and children leaving care in Birmingham
- Destitution Project: working with children and families affected by destitution.
Here are some key achievements for us over the last year:
- A new family room equipped with toys was established at the initial accommodation hostel where we carry out our Press Play work.
- A successful piece of partnership work delivering sex education sessions for unaccompanied minors has continued between BUMP and Brook in Birmingham funded by Solihull PCT.
- BIMS have employed an innovative soft outcomes tool to measure young people's progress through their mentoring journeys against Every Child Matters outcomes.
- Donations of practical items from individuals and churches have continued to be received by the Destitution Project and a strong partnership was developed with The Children's Society Handsworth shop to distribute the items.
- The Destitution Project has continued to successful increase awareness of destitution and the work of the project in the wider community through talks, stalls and media.