Refugee Support Network

Type of service

Educational Mentoring, Wellbeing support, Education access support for Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children.

Organisation description

We help refugee and asylum-seeking children and young people to build more hopeful futures through education. We provide a range of services which help 14-25 year olds seeking safety in the UK to get into, stay in and do well in education. Educational mentoring We recruit, train and support community volunteers to provide weekly 1:1 educational mentoring – a blend of EAL tutoring and wellbeing support – to young refugees and asylum seekers. Visit the educational mentoring page to find out more. We prioritise young people who are already in education, helping them set and work towards their educational goals (such as improving their written English or passing a particular exam). We deliver this programme through local mentoring hubs across London, Oxford, Birmingham and the East of England, overseen by mentoring coordinators whose names and contact details can be found here. Specialist education and wellbeing support We provide long-term (1 year +), holistic support to young asylum seekers and refugees, helping them explore and pursue sustainable pathways back into education. Visit the specialist education and wellbeing support page to find out more. We prioritise those with mental ill health, survivors of trauma, young people who are NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) or at risk of withdrawing from or being excluded from education. We work with young people to build resilience and emotional wellbeing and to address core foundational challenges to educational progression such as protracted immigration applications, homelessness and housing, poverty, welfare and benefits, access to health and other essential services, building confidence in understanding and asserting rights and entitlements. Access to higher education We support young asylum seekers and refugees who have the academic potential to attend university but who face challenges in doing so because of practical and immigration status-related barriers. Visit the access to higher education page to find out more. We run a specialist email and WhatsApp advice service, helping young people understand their options, entitlements, barriers and opportunities as they move towards university. We provide bespoke, face-to-face support to young people at different stages of their journey towards higher education: from young people in school or FE who want to identify appropriate progression pathways to those applying to university who need help with the process or answers to specific questions. We run workshops for young people who want to explore and understand the journey towards higher education. Innovation stream Our new three year strategy has introduced an innovation stream, enabling us to respond with dynamism and flexibility to the evolving needs of the young people we serve. The current focus of this stream is our values-based youth leadership programme. Our values-based youth leadership programme helps young refugees and asylum seekers identify their strengths and uniquenesses as leaders, encouraging them to grow as ‘servant leaders’ in their communities and spheres of influence. Our 8 week leadership course takes place twice a year, with weekly sessions comprising presentations by course facilitators, group discussions and journaling and reflection times. Alumni of the youth leadership course are invited to periodic events with RSN and other partner organisations in order to continue giving them opportunities to grow in confidence and leadership skills. The course is primarily aimed at young people we are already working with through our other programmes, though some referrals are accepted from partner organisations. Research, consultancy, training Alongside our direct work with young people, we undertake research and consultancy and provide training, ensuring that the voices of young refugees and asylum seekers are heard by the policy- and decision-makers who affect their lives.

Geographical area covered

Smethwick, Birmingham

Contact Information


Lydia Mitton





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