There are currently about 1,000 asylum seeking children and young people in the care of Kent County Council.
All of them have made a very difficult journey to get to Britain; huge numbers of them are fleeing from war, terror, hunger or despair, and many of them have experienced trauma such as we can hardly imagine. At a young age, they have lived through situations nobody should ever have to face.
Kent County Council is doing a great job, and has managed to find foster homes for all the girls, for the boys under the age of 16, and for a very few boys aged 16 and 17 who have particular needs.
By far the biggest group of unaccompanied child asylum seekers, however, are boys aged 16 and over. These young people usually pass through a reception centre first, where their health, educational and social skills and needs are assessed. After that, if they stay in Kent, they are placed in rented accommodation (a room in a shared house) in various parts of the county, where they live “in the community” while their asylum application is processed. That can take a long time, during which the young people have very little money, are not allowed to take paid employment, may have only limited access to education, and therefore need our help and support.
We have set up our volunteer group to give additional support to the boys aged 16-17 while they are in the Ashford reception centre, and then afterwards when they are living in the community. We aim to help and supplement the activities and facilities already provided by the Kent County Council staff, and we work in partnership with them.
WE AIM TO EXTEND A SINCERELY WARM WELCOME TO THESE YOUNG PEOPLE AND TO HELP TO GIVE THEM HOPE FOR THE FUTURE.
Registered Charity no. 1167921