REUK has grown from a small volunteer-led local project into a national organisation supporting hundreds of refugee and asylum-seeking children and young people across the UK.
As an organisation, we believe that one of the practical outworkings of the Christian faith is to provide care, support and welcome to the displaced.
Our Christian theology shapes our view of the individual as a holistic being, with both physical and spiritual needs.
REUK works from a Christian ethos
REUK is a community of young people, volunteers and staff members of all faiths and none, learning from each other and journeying together as we pursue quality education for all.
We respect faith, culture, and the role of these in our own lives and in the lives of the young people we work with. We support all young refugees and asylum seekers whatever their faith, religion or beliefs.
We learn from and journey with people of all faiths and none
With seed-funding from Community Church Harlesden, a needs' assessment was conducted, and a charity set up, and, in 2010, a very small pilot educational mentoring project was run with ten unaccompanied asylum-seeking children from the College of North West London.
Our team were all volunteers, and our founder, a former teacher, was still working her day job in education in emergencies policy and practice. We started small, and thought that was how we would stay. But word began to spread, and children and young people who knew about our work through friends began to ask for support through social media. Schools, colleges, universities and local authorities began to reach out for advice and services. And so we grew – our founder left her other job, we applied for funding, and started to build the education support programmes we now offer to hundreds of young refugees across the country.
REUK started out around a kitchen table in Harlesden. A small group of volunteers from a local church. A small group of young refugees from across London with no funding, no office, but lots of ideas.
We provide education expertise in the forced migration sector and forced migration expertise in the education sector.
The young people we work with told us we needed a name that made this focus clear. We loved being Refugee Support Network (RSN) and we're excited about continuing our story as Refugee Education UK (REUK).
When we started out, and until 2021, we were called Refugee Support Network. Yet everything we do is about education for young refugees. Now, our name reflects that. We are Refugee Education UK.