At Refugee Support Network we are working towards a world where all young people displaced by conflict or crisis are able to build more hopeful futures. We do this by supporting young refugees and asylum seekers to access, remain and progress in education.
Currently, over 500 young people each year benefit from our core programmes:
Educational mentoring: we recruit and train community volunteers to provide bespoke 1:1 educational mentoring to young people in their area. We currently deliver this through educational mentoring hubs across London, Oxford and Birmingham.
Access to higher education: we offer – through a national helpline and face-to-face sessions – advice and support for young people who have the academic potential to attend university but who face challenges in doing so because of practical and immigration status-related barriers.
Specialist education and wellbeing support: we provide personalised advice, guidance and psychosocial support to young people who are NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) or facing significant barriers to educational progression.
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. Our new strategy has also introduced an innovation stream, enabling us to remain responsive and creative in the face of emerging needs among the young people we exist to serve.
RSN is led by our founder and Chief Executive, who, assisted by our senior leadership team, provides leadership and direction to our growing staff of 24. Our well-qualified, dynamic and thoughtful team has a wealth of experience in the refugee, education, youth, international development and humanitarian sectors, and is supported in the delivery of our programmes by over 150 volunteers. Our work is overseen and scrutinised by an active and engaged board of trustees who meet on a quarterly basis. We receive regular additional input and expertise from our Youth Advisory Board, and, when we need specialist guidance, from our team of expert advisors.
RSN was founded in 2009 by members of a church in north west London with widespread experience working in the refugee and international development sectors as well as a desire to see the most vulnerable in their community cared for and supported. Since then, we have sought to outwork our Christian ethos at every level of RSN - in our governance, values, strategy, staff care and direct work with young people - and we continue, nearly ten years on, to respect faith, culture and the role of these in our lives and the lives of the young people we work with and seek to serve.