"It is helpful to discuss English with my mentor. It is additional support outside of college. Before mentoring I had no confidence, now I have knowledge and confidence, so it gives me hope."
I would like to put on record our thanks to all the mentors and staff at Refugee Education UK whose hard work has been of such benefit to our students who are UASC [those who arrived in the UK as unaccompanied asylum-seeking children].
"The mentors have been brilliant throughout the year but especially during lockdown which was such a challenging time for our UASC students. These partnerships are much valued by students who are able to access individual support to meet their learning goals. Mentors are clearly very well trained and have liaised with tutorial and pastoral staff, always appropriately and to the benefit of their mentee. We know that our students are listened to and supported with extra help in the areas they need to develop in order to gain the English skills they will need to achieve a better future." – Referral partner at a further education college
Click the button below to find out more and for a page which can help explain the programme to young people. To refer a young refugee or asylum seeker for educational mentoring, please contact the educational mentoring coordinator for your local area.
Our blend of ESOL/academic tutoring and wellbeing support improves education and wellbeing outcomes for young refugees and asylum seekers.
We work with each young person to set mentoring goals, like passing an exam or improving a particular aspect of English. Then we match them with the most appropriate mentor – someone whose location, personality and skills are the best fit for each individual.
Schools, colleges, local authorities, and other charities refer young people to REUK for regular, personalised education support.
We recruit diverse volunteers from a range of ages and professional backgrounds and train them to mentor safely, effectively, and consistently. We provide ongoing support to mentoring pairs as they meet for an hour each week in a local library or other community space.
REUK's volunteers provide 1:1 educational mentoring for young people across London, Birmingham, Oxford, Peterborough and Cambridge.
Some 200 mentoring pairs meet weekly over the course of a year. That's over 5,600 hours of personalised, 1:1 tutoring and wellbeing support.
It's a two-way thing. Nine out of 10 young refugees with a mentor make progress towards their educational goals and eight out of 10 say that they're now more confident. And mentors tell us how inspiring it is to journey through the highs and lows with their resilient mentees.
Educational mentoring enables young refugees to move forward in their education.
Educational mentoring increases young refugees' confidence and wellbeing.
Educational mentoring builds young refugees' connections in their local community.
Young refugees are often in the UK alone without parental support. The mentoring relationship nurtures their self worth, develops their life skills, and encourages them to fulfill their potential.
The UK can feel like a lonely place for newly arrived refugee teenagers. Local mentors help them understand how things work and build bridges to groups and services in their area.
To refer a young person to the educational mentoring programme, please email the mentoring coordinator for the relevant area.
REUK's Educational Mentoring team
Andrew heads up our Educational Mentoring programme across the UK and, as part of the Senior Leadership Team, plays a wider role in REUK's mission, strategy development and governance.
Prior to joining REUK in December 2019, Andrew ran a UK charity supporting work with children with special needs, and their families, in Thailand. Before this, he led a charity providing mentoring for young people leaving two London prisons.
Andrew has nearly fifteen years experience of working in the charity sector and is passionate about seeing communities coming alongside those facing difficult circumstances. Alongside his role at REUK, Andrew is a trustee of two small charities.
Head of Educational Mentoring
Federica holds a Joint Master’s Degree in Global Economic Governance and Public Affairs from LUISS University and CIFE, for which she wrote her thesis on complementary education pathways for
Prior to joining REUK, she worked for an Italian NGO delivering capacity-building
courses for government and civil society officials working with people in need of protection.
Federica previously served as an intern with the Partnership and Coordination Service at the
UNHCR in Geneva, where her work focused on building partnerships with NGOs and FBOs to
deliver optimal results for refugees. Prior to that, she was an intern with OCHA’s Emergency
"I'm based in the East of England and coordinate hubs in Peterborough and Cambridge. You can contact me at email@example.com"
Giulia coordinates our educational mentoring hub in Oxford. Prior to joining REUK, Giulia worked in Greece, setting up and managing an education programme in two refugee camps in the mainland.
She then participated in a research project on refugees/asylum seekers and digital identity in Italy, and conducted research on teachers of refugees in Lebanon, as part of her thesis project.
She holds a masters in International Relations from Rome Tre University, Italy, and a MPhil in Education and International Development from Cambridge University, UK.
"I coordinate the following REUK mentoring hub in Oxford. If you'd like to speak, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org"
Hammed coordinates our educational mentoring hub in West London. Before joining REUK, he worked with the Mastercard Foundation on the Foundation for All project.
He co-created and co-led a mentoring programme to prepare refugee learners in Uganda for Higher Education. He further researched the experience of refugees in accessing higher education through Bridging Education programmes in Uganda.
Hammed worked as a Regional Manager with Peace First (Sub-Saharan Africa), where he mentored and connected young people in the region to funding and resources to create social change. He holds a Masters Degree in Africa and International Development at the University of Edinburgh.
"I coordinate REUK's mentoring hubs in West London. If you'd like to speak, email me at email@example.com"
Hammed Kayode Alabi
Cennydd coordinates our educational mentoring hub in South London.
Prior to joining REUK, Cennydd was a refugee operations volunteer at Breaking Barriers and had also gained experience working with young people from non-traditional education backgrounds at the Sutton Trust. Throughout university, he was involved in various societies orientated around activism and advocacy, working with WaterAid, Oxfam UK and other student affiliate networks.
He holds a masters in Migration Mobility and Development from SOAS University of London. His research focused on examining the (im)mobility of Sub-Saharan forced migrants in Morocco, against the framings of the Global Compact for Migration.
"I coordinate REUK's hub in South London. Get in touch at Cennydd@reuk.org"
Eleftheria holds an MA in Global Citizenship, Identities and Human Rights and is a CELTA-qualified teacher. She has extensive experience of developing and delivering English language programmes for community-based organisations in the UK supporting people from forced migrant backgrounds.
She previously worked as an ESOL tutor in Groundwork’s Afghan Response team, providing English language support to Afghan refugees in bridging hotels across London. Prior to that, she worked for Mojatu Foundation, administering training programmes for refugees in Nottingham who arrived through the Syrian Resettlement Programme. She is interested in how trauma-informed teaching practice and wellbeing-centred approaches to ESOL can enhance people’s educational outcomes and overall welfare.
"I coordinate REUK's hub in East London. Get in touch at Eleftheria@reuk.org"
Cara coordinates our educational mentoring hub in North London. Prior to joining REUK, she worked on various community projects, including a programme providing free sanitary products and tackling sexual assault in university facilities; analysing and identifying gaps in mental health provision in Cambridgeshire and volunteering for a student-run charity that provides legal aid to refugees.
She has a BA in History and Spanish from the University of Cambridge. Her research there focused on the creation of alternative forms of citizenship in response to political oppression and violence in Latin America. She recently moved back to the UK after travelling and working in North and South America.
"I coordinate REUK's hub in North London. Get in touch at Cara@reuk.org"
Yasir is the Mentoring Coordinator for the West Midlands and is based in Birmingham.
As a Tanzanian-born Brit who moved to the UK at a young age, he appreciates the diverse experiences of migrants. Yasir’s academic background includes a comparative study on government policies for refugee flows in East Africa, completed as part of his postgraduate dissertation in Development Studies at LSE. As an intern for the Centre for Global Development he produced research on climate financing.
As President of the East African Society at the University of Warwick, Yasir provided a platform for sharing refugee stories, including the Rwandan genocide and the exile of East African Asians. Prior to joining REUK, he volunteered, welcoming new refugees to his local community.
"I coordinate REUK's hub in Birmingham. Get in touch at Yasir@reuk.org"