The young refugees and asylum seekers we work with in London are being severely impacted by the reduction in support services. We are concerned about increased social isolation, poor mental health and emotional wellbeing. Most are here in the UK alone, without any family. Their strength and resilience continues to be inspiring but they are particularly vulnerable at this time.
While many of us are able to retreat to the relative comfort of our own homes, many of the young people we support are homeless or in (often unsuitable) shared accommodation. Some of the young people are without mobile phones, and most have no wifi or money for data.
Young Roots is continuing to provide vital 1:1 casework support, remotely where possible, but for this the young people need to be connected. We aim to bring the young people together remotely each week for peer support, to reduce social isolation, to support their emotional health and encourage physical activity.
In lieu of our youth activities this week, we are producing emergency packs with food vouchers, oyster cards, mobile top-ups, tea sugar and biscuits, as well as printed information about COVID-19 in their own language and a well-being journal. Where needed, we will provide them with our sleep packs, which include sleeping bags, warm clothes, a towel and essential toiletries. We also need to buy around 15 basic smart-phones.
If you can donate at all, it would make a significant difference to these young people. £3 would provide a hot drink and snack; £5 an oyster card; £10 a food voucher or mobile data; £25 a basic smart-phone. Please help in any way you can.