After18 was founded in 2013 in response to the rising number of unaccompanied children in Leicester who were asking for support when they turned 18.
Children and young people fleeing war and persecution in their home country, travel alone to the UK to seek safety. They arrive bewildered, traumatised and anxious, living alone in an unfamiliar place where they may not speak the language or understand the culture.
We reach out and assist them with accessing mainstream services, at the same time as listening to their needs and working with them to develop our services. Over the last ten years, they have shaped our education project, identified the need for a young women’s group and inspired our summer activity programme.
We now have over 200 young people using our services each year.
Turning 18 is extremely significant for unaccompanied children as it marks the boundary between childhood and adulthood.
At a time when their peers are already completing their education and making key life choices, young refugees are catching up and struggling to access basic needs.
After18 works to support young refugees to transition to adulthood and prepare for their future “After 18” by providing specialist information, emotional and practical support and a wide range of educational and social activities.