Building hope in young refugees
Imagine being alone in a place completely alien to you. It can be easy to trust the wrong people, feel lost, lose hope. This is where By Your Side steps in. We make sure separated refugees, asylum seekers and migrant young people have people around them who want the best for them. So they feel confident in themselves and can start to rebuild.
by your side service
Many young refugees and migrants have been through more than we can imagine even before they have arrived in the UK. But there are still so many obstacles when they get here. Some find themselves homeless. Others have PTSD after fleeing conflict. They just want to get their lives back on track. We make sure they don't go it alone.
Whether it is sorting out accommodation, setting up therapy, arranging legal advice or just being someone to talk to, By Your Side is there. Our specialist workers go the extra mile to give these young people hope.
They’ve changed my life. They’ve found me a place to stay, given me means to feed myself.
Facts and figures
of young people at By Your Side said they felt more confident
felt they had improved communication and language skills
Our volunteer befrienders are a stable presence in the lives of young refugees. They help them develop life skills, pursue interests, and find work in the local community.
‘When I first started with my young person, I just wanted us to have a good time, as it was tough for him. We would meet at lunchtime so he could have something to eat and he was able to be a young person again. We just went to interesting exhibitions and fun music things.’
It gives them the chance to not have to worry about where they might get their next meal or what they might do tomorrow.
The young people who had befrienders said it had improved their trust, self-esteem, aspirations and language skills. Volunteers also got a lot out of it too. They said they felt a lot of pride to be contributing positively to someone’s life who would otherwise be very isolated.
A young refugee's story
Alone no more
Jemal was just 14 when he fled Eritrea. It was home. It was all he knew. But he was at risk of military service, forced labor and even torture.
He had a rough start in the UK. When he had his age assessment, they refused to believe he was under 18. All the support he was receiving was gone in the blink of an eye. He was homeless. He had lost everything.
But Natalia, a specialist worker for By Your Side, was there to help him pick up the pieces. She found him accommodation, a solicitor and was always there to confide in.
She helped me keep holding on while things were very difficult.
Finally, after a court case Jemal’s claimed date of birth was accepted. Now Jemal is settled. His ambition is to finish college and gain a professional qualification. He has a strong passion for music and wants to develop his singing and learn to play the piano.
Starting a new life, in a new country is a daunting task, especially for young people. They have to fight. They have to be brave. But our workers at By Your Side do all they can to lessen the burden and make it more manageable. They give young refugees and migrants opportunities to rebuild, meet people and start enjoying their new life in a new country.
They don’t just do their job, they helped me more than that.
We fight alongside young refugees, giving them the tools they need to rebuild their lives. Find out more about our work with young refugees and migrants.