Posted: 25 March 2020

A story of Hope: what young people think about our youth group for young refugees

When unaccompanied young people seeking sanctuary in the UK arrive here, they have no one. They can feel incredibly lonely. But not knowing anything about where they live and being unable to speak English perfectly means it can be difficult for these young people to connect with others and create social networks.

Youth groups, like the one run by our Hope service in Greater Manchester, help refugee and migrant young people to overcome their loneliness. They provide safe spaces where these young people can meet new people, share their views and develop new skills through fun activities.

We spoke to some of the Hope youth group’s members to see why they joined the group, what they’ve enjoyed about it, and what they’ve been able to achieve.

Why join a youth group?

The Hope youth group members had a range of motivations for joining, but many simply wanted to interact with others – and have fun! Like most teenagers, these young people wanted a reason to get out of the house and to try something new.

‘To be part of a community of friends’ - young person

Others joined the group for practical reasons. One young person said they wanted to improve their English, while others were looking for advice, advocacy support or a ‘space space to discuss issues’.

What they enjoyed about the group

For many of the young people we spoke to, the best thing about the Hope youth group is the people they meet. Learning new cultures, meeting people who support and respect each other, and getting involved in team-based activities were a few of their highlights.

‘[the] group is welcoming and people are approachable’ - young person

One young person told us what they’d most enjoyed was being able to talk to other people about their experiences with their asylum process. Another enjoyed getting advice from people and learning more about their rights.

What the young people have achieved

Beyond developing their communication skills, attending the youth group has supported these young people to gain lots of useful experience and get involved in exciting opportunities.

Scroll through our list to see what the young people’s achievements were:

 

Explore our work with young refugees and migrants

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Practitioner stories: Sophie Agrotis

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Refugee Week 2019: working with young refugees to help them feel safe and included

Posted: 19 June 2019