"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.
Teachers don't always have capacity to give refugee students the personalised support they need to really understand what they're learning and to engage with their studies. Mentors plug this gap.
To refer a young person to the educational mentoring programme, please email the mentoring coordinator for the relevant area .
REUK's Educational Mentoring team
Head of Educational Mentoring
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.
I'm based in the East of England and run hubs in Peterborough and Cambridge. You can contact me at email@example.com
Becca is the mentoring coordinator for the East of England and is based in Peterborough and Cambridge.
She grew up in the French-speaking part of Switzerland where she trained as a social worker and then worked in social services as an adult case manager.
After moving to the UK in 2017, she worked for an emergency accommodation provider in Cambridge supporting people struggling with homelessness.
She joined our team in May 2019 as our first staff member in the East of England. As a second part time role, Becca works as an artist with a focus on linocut printing.
"I run the Oxford hub - get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org"
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.
Hammed Kayode Alabi
"My hub is in West London. Drop me a line at email@example.com"
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 two of REUK's mentoring hubs: in North London and East London. If you'd like to speak, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org"
Rachel coordinates our educational mentoring hub in north London. Prior to joining REUK, Rachel spent a summer providing administrative support to a language school in Morocco,while learning Arabic.
This was preceded by three years teaching music in schools across Brent and helping develop Brent Music Service's "Wider Opportunities" programme, which aims to promote access and inclusion in music education. Rachel is also currently studying for a masters in Music and Development at SOAS, University of London, where her research interests include social justice, participatory research methods, and community music making.
Rachel has a PGCE in Secondary Education and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Oxford.
"I run REUK's hub in Birmingham. Get in touch at email@example.com"
Rosy coordinates our mentoring hub in the Birmingham area. Before joining REUK, Rosy was a programme manager at Heartlift, a charity working with young people who had been excluded from mainstream school or for whom mainstream education was no longer sustainable.
Rosy studied Chemistry at Nottingham University before going on to work with Student Finance. She later completed a PGCE and worked as a primary school teacher where she became interested in helping young people overcome barriers to accessing education.
Alongside her role at REUK, Rosy supports Dyspraxia Education, a not for profit organisation which exists to enable pupils with neurodevelopmental conditions to fully access and participate in education.
"I coordinate the mentoring hub in South London and Croydon. Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org"
Yvie coordinates REUK’s mentoring hub in south London (including Croydon). A CELTA-qualified English language teacher, Yvie has taught English in Greece and the south of France. While working with Action for Education (AFE) on Chios Island, she planned and delivered engaging English lessons for young refugees and asylum seekers, coordinated empowerment-focussed workshops for young refugee women, and coordinated and delivered ESL training sessions for volunteers.
Alongside her role at REUK, Yvie works at the British Red Cross Young Refugee Service, coordinating the Refugee and Befriending (RnB) project for unaccompanied refugee and asylum seeking children in Camden which helps young people improve their English, make friends and gain confidence.