Event celebrates the achievements of Warwickshire’s unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people

Warwickshire County Council has held a celebration event to recognise the achievements of its population of asylum-seeking young people as part of Refugee Celebration Week 2019.

The 17 to 23 June 2019 is Refugee Celebration Week and Warwickshire County Council recognises the incredible achievements of its unaccompanied asylum-seeking children around the county.

Warwickshire currently supports 194 unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people who tend to be in their teenage years. These young people have often experienced very long migrations, travelling across many countries and borders. The young people originate from countries such as Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq and Syria. They have inevitably experienced loss, moving from their countries of origin, leaving behind family members and may have experienced serious traumas before and during their journey.

Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in Warwickshire are supported by an experienced team to access education opportunities that many have never had access to in the past and also to participate in sporting activities –The young people have formed a football team and will soon be starting a cricket team – and complete qualifications that will enable future employment opportunities.

In preparation for the celebration event, 9 young people completed their food hygiene certificates and were able to work with chefs at Warwick’s Old Shire Hall to produce the banquet for the event.

The event recognised the positive contributions that Warwickshire’s asylum-seeking young people make to the county and was thoroughly enjoyed by all attendees.

Speaking about her own experiences as an asylum seeking young person in Warwickshire, Tehetena said:

“Warwickshire County Council has helped me in my journey in many ways. I had support from the council when applying for university and they are still now supporting me financially. I Also get a lot of emotional support from Laura, my PA, which helps me as I found moving and everything really hard.”

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council said:

“The fact that the whole county has come together to provide a safe place for these young people to begin to heal and rebuild their lives is a testament to what a fantastic place Warwickshire is to live.

“I am immensely proud that Warwickshire County Council is able to provide a comprehensive package of support to these young people and that local communities have gone above and beyond to make some of our most vulnerable young residents so welcome. These young people are now able to begin their healing in a county that has always celebrated and welcomed diversity; a county that has always offered help to its most vulnerable residents; and a county that has a deep and enduring sense of civil-mindedness at its very heart.”

More information about unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in Warwickshire can be found on the website: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/uac