YMCA Bedfordshire

Helping Young Refugees Learn Skills for A New Life

Over the last 2 years YMCA Bedfordshire has delivered Independent Living Skill courses to 21 young Asylum seekers.



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  • Helping Young Refugees Learn Skills for A New Life

    Helping Young Refugees Learn Skills for A New Life

    Course learners were referred onto the programme either via social workers from the 16+ Leaving Care and Asylum Team from Central Bedfordshire and Bedford Borough council or directly from other supported housing providers in the Bedford area.

    “The 19 males and 2 females aged between 16 – 17 years old that I have supported on these courses have harrowing stories to tell” said YMCA Bedfordshire’s Skills4 tutor Eve Carroll.

    “Many were found in the back of a lorry having escaped from a range of war torn countries including Eritrea and Sudan as well as Afghanistan, Romania and Iraq and come to the UK seeking asylum and a better life”

    With the support of Tigrinian and Arabic translators the learners were divided into small groups of 4, and courses took place over 10 weeks for 3 hours workshops per session covering topics such as:

    • Every Day Budgeting Skills
    • Healthy Eating / Cooking Session
    • Home Maintenance and Simple DIY
    • Personal Rights and Responsibilities
    • Health and Safety in the Home and Personal Safety
    • First Aid Skills
    • Next Steps and Evaluation

    “The Independent Living Skills course enabled the learners to learn practical skills that will support them when they moved on into their own accommodation at 18” Said Safia Cragg YMCA Bedfordshire’s Support and Participation Manager

    “During the budgeting sessions for example a lot of the learners didn’t realise the high cost of living in the UK and so soon identified a benefit of living in shared accommodation in the immediate future to help sharing bill and other costs.

    The courses have been a really great success” continued Eve “We have seen 85% of the young people who took part in this course moved on into successful Independent Living. 76% of learners have entered education and 10% have found employment”

    “I feel very happy because I ask for very long time to get a course like this” said one of the course learners who can not be named.

    We are really excited about this amazing course and so humbled to be able to support these brave men and women move on, blossom and show the world their abilities.

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