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A true partnership: Separated Child and esynergy

The Separated Child Foundation was set up in 2007. It runs a number of projects aimed at providing emotional, social, financial and physical support to lone refugee youth in the United Kingdom (separated children).

Until two-and-a-half years ago, the charity was run by trustees. At that point, they took on their first member of staff, Richard Hammond (as Chief Executive). Richard tells us the story of Separated Child and the charity’s relationship with esynergy…

Club Class

We also work in partnership with the Refugee Council in offering separated children a weekly ‘Club Class’. This is a combination of both a ‘club’ and a ‘class’ for up to thirty children, currently based in Croydon. Club Class helps them to acclimatise to life in the UK: This means teaching them simple things like how to get around London and how to stay safe online, as well as more complex issues such as how to deal with bullying in school and looking after their mental health. It also offers them the chance to mix with other young people who have had similar experiences. The feedback from these sessions is really encouraging and we’d love to set up another Club Class somewhere else in the UK.

Where we are now

Over the last few months, we’ve run quite a detailed sector-wide review to identify the unmet needs of separated children. This review pointed to a real need for more direct activities with young people, such as developing leadership skills, supporting mental health, participating in sports or just having fun and essentially focusing on ‘being children’.

As we grow, in terms of developing our organisation, income and staff (we’re just about to take on a professional programme manager as a result of our review), we need to find new ways of developing our infrastructure. We’ve developed a suite of policies over the past couple of years but there remains a number of areas where we need do not yet have the internal expertise.