Young refugees who have made the difficult journey to the UK are saddled with many challenges as they settle in a new, unfamiliar country and begin to rebuild their lives.
They are also required to enrol in school immediately, even though they often have little to no English language skills or support to prepare them for this experience. This is made worse by recent budget cuts to UK schools that have slashed funding for tailored classroom assistance.
We know that education is a key stepping stone to unlocking future opportunities. But without the language skills needed to learn and do well, these young people are not set up to succeed in their new circumstances, or to reach their fullest potential.
Springboard Youth Academy was borne out of a vision to bridge the skills gap and provide the much-needed support for newly arrived young people that is lacking in the UK school system.
To do this, we have designed an innovative and exciting summer programme for young asylum-seekers and refugees aged 13-18 who have recently arrived in the UK.
Based in London, Springboard Youth Academy will offer a holistic and creative space for these young people to:
Learn English through a bespoke language programme that fuses the best of storytelling and dramatic arts
Benefit from counselling and one-to-one mentoring
Access a social and welcoming space where they can meet others with similar experiences, learn about life in the UK and services available to them, and become truly prepared to thrive when they begin school in September!
We're doing things differently...
At Springboard, we know that education and language are key, but believe that it takes support, community connections and confidence-building activities to really set a teenager up to thrive in a new place.
In order to accomplish this, we have built our programme on the following three pillars:
Experiential learning: young people will learn though doing, using storytelling techniques, dramatic arts exercises and workshop-style teaching to rehearse for life.
Life skills for settling and understanding life in the UK: we're talking everything from how to recycle, to navigating London transport, to sexual health literacy, to understanding legal rights and more.
Holistic support: counselling to improve young people’s mental health, legal advocacy to help access services, one-to-onementoring, as well as sports and field trips to boost physical health, confidence and teamwork skills.
How can you help?
This year we’ll be launching our pilot – and we’ve put together an operations budget that is low cost considering the number of hours our young people will be supported.
We’re excited to already have backing from the College of Northwest London, Refugee Support Network, Uber Tutors and Afghan Association Paiwand. These wonderful partners are generously giving us venue hire and partial staff time in kind.
But to cover all costs for our first run this summer, we’ll need extra help along the way!
We’re asking backers like you to please pitch in and help us enrol as many as 30 young people at the Academy this summer. We’ll be so grateful for anything you can give.
Here’s what your contribution could do:
Meet the team
Tyler Fox is a refugee community services professional who has spent the last five years working for London’s refugee youth in Northwest London. As former Deputy Director for a community organisation, Tyler has tirelessly advocated on behalf of young people, helping them access vital services and make sure their voices are heard.
Kate Duffy splits her time between supporting refugee youth on wellbeing, integration and independence as a senior manager at Afghan Association Paiwand, and working with Phosphoros Theatre Company to support refugee young adults to share their stories with big audiences. Their critically acclaimed production, Dear Home Office, premiered in London last year and made the rounds at Edinburgh Fringe 2016.
Chris Dowling is an education specialist and qualified ESOL teacher. He is currently based in Turkey, where he develops alternative and informal learning opportunities for Syrian children trapped in the exploitation cycle. He is supporting the development of Springboard’s ESOL curriculum, and believes that language learning is a fundamental step in bridging differences and bringing people together.
To find out more about the rest of our fantastic team, visit www.springboardyouth.com!