One-to-one language support is provided to help our clients improve their English and to help children with their school work. The aim of the project is to ease the process of integration. Volunteers recruited are medical students at University College London (UCL); thereby increasing future health professionals' understanding of refugees' and asylum seekers' mental health needs while helping refugee and asylum seeker adults and children now.
If there is a need identified and the Centre's resources allow, we can run group mentoring sessions, with the aim of increasing social participation. Mentoring sessions involve help with English language skills through conversation, assistance with understanding official letters and forms, or general help with homework for young people, in an atmosphere of trust in which clients are given full attention.
The project's objectives are to ease the process of adaptation and integration for our clients, especially children and adolescents; to help young refugees and asylum seekers having difficulties with language and culture shock at school, by assisting them with their homework; to provide teachers with somewhere they can refer children who need extra support where it is not available at school; to help asylum seekers cope with the sometimes very difficult position of uncertainty (waiting and not knowing what will happen) they find themselves in during the process of applying for asylum.
For children and young people: mentors offer support with schoolwork and other issues to do with going to a new school in a new country, such as understanding English vocabulary, culture and education system, and relating to others.
For adults: mentors may assist with developing English language skills, using computers, or studying for the citizenship exam.
Mentoring sessions are not therapy, but they do provide valuable support and a safe space for clients to discuss issues to do with adapting to their new environment. Clients are seen every week by the same medical student, and the students receive fortnightly supervisions with a senior clinical psychologist or psychotherapist to discuss any issues they have.
If you know someone who would like this kind of help and support, please fill in the Mentoring Referral Form below and post to:
Clinical Coordinator, Refugee Therapy Centre, 1A Leeds Place, Tollington Park, London N4 3RF
If you are interested in being a mentor, please fill in the Mentoring Application Form.
*RTC is committed to Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults and will carry out enhanced CRB and full pre-employment checks of selected candidates.