The Separated Child Foundation is very aware of the trust that our funders, supporters and volunteers place in us to provide support to separated children when they arrive alone, vulnerable and often traumatised in the UK and we can assure you that we are doing everything we can to minimise the disruption to the services we offer.
The refugee agencies, including ourselves, are continuing to work together to minimise the impact of the lockdown keeping young people safe, supported and welcomed.
Separated children are still arriving in the UK but the Coronavirus crisis has meant that more children are making perilous journeys across the channel in small boats. Our main work entails providing ‘arrival and sleep’ packs to children as they arrive. The packs contain essentials items, e.g. – clothes, toiletries, towels – that no other agency provides these for their first few days here.
A small team of very dedicated ‘separated child’ volunteers worked very hard before the lockdown to prepare extra stock of arrival and sleep packs to see us through this period and we now have resumed our packing sessions in small groups. We have arrangements in place to distribute these when requested with the support of our fabulous volunteers using strict infection controls.
We have had to change the way we deliver our weekly Club Class which we run in partnership with the Refugee Council. Club Class is a weekly educational, social and cultural programme for up to 30 separated young people aged 14-18. We are running the sessions remotely and therefore still able to continue to offer this service weekly. We are addressing the issue of lack of equipment for some participants to enable them to participate.
We will continue to do all that we can to minimise disruption to our services to separated children and would like to thank all our funders, supporters and volunteers for your support and understanding during this period
Chief Executive Officer, The Separated Child Foundation