Refugee Week 2023: 19-25 June
Compassion – Illustration by Murugiah for Refugee Week 2023
The children we support are separated from their parents because of war or persecution. Forced to flee, they travel for weeks or months on end to reach safety, often going hungry and without a warm, safe place to sleep. Separated children are vulnerable and often traumatised by their experiences but they show incredible bravery, and the determination to make the best of their new lives.
These children deserve support and understanding at every stage of their recovery.
We believe that every separated child and young person has the right to compassion. Separated children and young people often arrive in the UK having been through horrific and distressing trauma.
Since Refugee Week 2021 our volunteers have created 4,170 arrival and emergency packs for lone child refugees. The packs provide toiletries and clean clothing to give separated children comfort and dignity after their long journeys.
Completely happy with the arrival pack. Young person, aged 15 from Sudan, had no clothes on arrival. The pack ensured that he had the necessary items for him to feel safe and clean.
Learning how to sleep again is a huge step for separated children as they settle into their new homes and schools. Following research into the effects of poor sleep on lone child refugees, we’ve seen a huge increase in demand for our sleep packs and have distributed over 1,490 around the UK during the past 12 months.
We have had a lot of young people arriving over the winter through the National Transfer Scheme and coming to use through hotels. The packs are so warmly received and just show them that people do care and they are welcome.
Separated children are, above all, still children. Many of them have had their childhoods destroyed by trauma and loss but with the right support, all separated children can learn, have fun and experience joy. Our Club Class sessions over the last year have focused on giving young refugees the tools to navigate their new lives safely, to build relationships and to express their feelings.
Club Class sessions helped (a child from Afghanistan) meet a number of young Afghan people and build relationships; even after Club Class he was able to chat with the participants through telephone calls. He concluded that Club Class helped him not to be lonely as well as learning a lot about the UK through the sessions.