Posted: 20 July 2020

Young refugees publish ideas for change

A group of young refugees in Leeds (ST4R) have published a booklet that they hope will improve life for young refugees in this country.

Young people involved in the project tell us why they created the booklet and what they hope to achieve.

We campaign for change for young migrants

ST4R group is about bringing young people from different backgrounds together. We meet every fortnight and campaign about different things we want to change…Young people know what it’s like to be young so we are the best people to say what we want to change.

It’s beneficial to us and other people. It helps improve our communication and speaking skills and makes us feel comfortable in ourselves. It’s also doing our part. You can’t stand on the side-lines and do nothing, especially when it’s about something you’ve been through yourself.

 In the group everyone gives advice about things…Everybody is here to help people. Some people have problems and young people have problems. Together we can try and solve it.

Gathering the voices of young refugees

The group recently designed a survey for other young refugees to share their ideas about what needs to change to improve life for young refugees in this country. The survey received over 60 responses and the results have been published in the ST4R booklet.

Each one of us wrote down some questions to go in the survey, then together we discussed which are better to include. We looked at what came up most often in the survey results and what seemed most interesting and then we decided what should go in the booklet.

'We made this booklet to make a difference to the lives of other young refugees'

What the voices of young refugees told us

Housing is very important because when you don’t have something to eat, when you have a house it feels better. In some housing, when the weather is cold outside and you go to your room, it’s cold. When you call them to fix it, and you keep calling and they don’t fix it. You are waiting for 2 weeks. You don’t have a choice. Sometimes the gas or the cooker isn’t working, we don’t have a choice but to wait.

It’s really difficult because sometimes the ceiling is leaking or the heaters are not working. We are always thinking about our background and how this is going to affect our mental health. If young people had nice housing and everything in the house maybe they could think less about what happened to them. Many of us who left our country because of being scared for our lives. We want to forget about what’s happening back home and how our parents are trying to survive there. So our environment is really important so we have less time to worry about the things back home.

How you can share the voices of young refugees

The booklet has many more young people’s ideas about what needs to change and why. It features top tips for young people on how to learn English quickly, and what young people said about the people and communities that helped them.

Read the booklet, share it with your friends and colleagues, and watch our live launch event at 1pm on Wednesday 22nd of July. You can also read the technical report which includes more details of the survey methods and results.


By Clare Rowland

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