A warm Brum welcome for separated children
The Birmingham Together Forum has recently helped to secure the delivery of 350 ‘welcome packs’ and ‘sleep packs’ which will be given to unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) across Birmingham.
Birmingham Together Forum was launched by Birmingham Children’s trust in June 2018. The Forum is made up of fifteen unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) in care and care leavers between the ages of 14 – 21, staff from Birmingham Children's Trust, Birmingham Virtual School and partner agencies from across the city support the work of the young people.
The young people who make up the Forum are very passionate about ensuring that young people arriving in the city are made to feel as welcome as possible. They want to ensure that all unaccompanied young people arriving in Birmingham are provided with essential items and are informed about the support available to them.
Arriving in Birmingham as an unaccompanied asylum seeking child
Most unaccompanied young people arriving in Birmingham lack even the most basic of necessities, many of them do not speak English and they all find themselves in an unknown culture. To help provide a warm welcome and some essential items, the Birmingham Together Forum have secured 200 ‘arrival packs’ and 200 ‘sleep packs’ and ‘survival kits’ from the Separated Children Foundation.
150 of the donated packs are ‘arrival packs’. These duffle bag sized packs are crammed full of every day essentials from toiletries and towels to warm winter clothing and waterproofs.
A better night’s sleep
The ‘sleep packs’ contain sleep aids including pyjama tops, lavender pouches to aid sleep, sleep masks, earplugs and nightlights.
Natalie Loon, corporate parenting manager at Birmingham Children’s Trust said: “Many unaccompanied young people arriving in Birmingham have difficulty sleeping. This is partly due to the trauma they have experienced which often leads to nightmares. Secondly many of the children have developed nocturnal habits as a result of travelling at night, and in groups, to stay as safe as possible. We are therefore delighted to be able to distribute these packs that have been kindly donated by Separated Child. As well as the physical items provided, each ‘sleep pack’ also offers a way to introduce and normalize the issues surrounding sleep disturbance that so many of these young people face.”
Thanks to the hard work of our UASC team, Birmingham Virtual School, corporate parenting team and the generosity of Separated Child, a total of 200 ‘sleep packs’ will be given to young people in Birmingham.
Watch this space as the Forum continues to see what the Forum do next to support unaccompanied asylum seeking children and young people in Birmingham!
If you would like any information about the Birmingham Together Forum, or if you would like to support the forum in any way please contact our corporate parenting manager Natalie Loon by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.