Hope for the Young
Their mission is to alleviate hardship and remove obstacles to young refugees and asylum-seekers’ education and well-being through financial and mentoring support.
Prior to the launch of Hope for the Young, Dr Saedi, the now Chair of Trustees, was part of a team of health professionals who set up and ran a mental health service for unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people in London. Three years later, when funding from the Department of Health came to an end in 2008, the charity–formerly known as Omid International–was established to continue reaching out to the vulnerable young people now left without support.
There were around 10 young people who required mental health intervention and additional psycho-social support. Dr Saedi and his colleagues therefore recruited and trained volunteers who helped run group activities during which, they also began providing tailored one-to-one support on an ad-hoc basis. Despite the challenge of transitioning from one support service to another, this more personalised approach was making a noticeable difference. They saw that a tailored mentoring service could provide real opportunities to help rebuild lives.
During this time, many of these young people also required financial support simply to access and stay in education. Responding to this, the team therefore began to raise money to provide financial assistance, including travel costs, living allowances and other necessary resources. Due to the popularity and growing need, in 2011 the decision was made to create an Education Fund to formally support young refugees and asylum-seekers to access and remain in further and higher education.
At the end of 2015, they received National Lottery funding to recruit their first member of staff and pilot a more formalised Mentoring Project for young refugees and asylum-seekers in London. Since March 2016, the Mentoring Project has gone from strength to strength, with the start of 2019 seeing us recruit two new Mentoring Coordinators to expand the service across North and South London.
The Mentoring Project and Education Fund continue to work side by side in removing the obstacles that young refugees and asylum-seekers face in accessing education and reaching their full potential. At Hope for the Young, they will always strive to do their very best at responding to the needs of all those referred to them.See more