With funding from John Lyon’s Charity and the Mayor of London’s Young Londoners Fund, the training programme will help over 800 young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds. Workshops will run in Brent, Harrow, Barnet, Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham over the next three years.
As part of the project, Coram will recruit and train 30 16-25 year olds from migrant and refugee backgrounds as paid trainers on its Young Citizens programme. They will co-design and deliver workshops to their peers, in collaboration with experts from key organisations within the Coram group of charities and will be trained in areas such as facilitation, public speaking and the law, to help equip them in their roles. The training will also prepare them for the job market, addressing challenges around employment through providing paid work and transferrable skills.
Through the workshops, young people who are new to the UK will be given the confidence and knowledge to exercise their rights and the resilience to overcome challenges to settling in the UK. Through the project, young people will also be supported to build a community, addressing the social isolation that many migrant and refugee young people face.
The project builds on the success of Coram’s Breaking Barriers event held in March 2019, which aimed to give young people the knowledge and confidence to overcome barriers to settling in the UK, and included four pilot workshops co-designed and delivered by Young Citizens alongside Coram Voice, Coram’s creative therapy team and Coram Children’s Legal Centre’s Migrant Children’s Project.
A young person who participated in the event said: “It’s been inspiring and motivating to see all these young people here making a better life for themselves.”
After the pilot workshops, the young people who delivered the training said they felt that they acted as role models to other young people and that the participants could relate to them as they had been through similar experiences.
One Young Citizen Trainer said: “When I was an asylum seeker nobody helped me with my problems and I didn’t know anything about the applications processes for refugee status. I think the Training Programme is a great idea, because I can now educate other young people on their rights and tell them about my experience”.
Brigid Robinson, Managing Director of Coram Young People’s Programmes, said: “We are delighted to launch this new training programme led by young people with direct experience of the issues. It will help us directly impact the lives of many young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds by empowering and equipping them with the tools they need to have the best possible chance at a successful life here in the UK. We want them to feel optimistic about their futures, knowing that they are supported and valued.”
Find more information on the Young Citizens Training Programme, please click here.