One of our great supporters, The Childhood Trust, recently headlined the work of KLS in their autumn newsletter. Here’s what they had to say:
Over the last three months following the withdrawal of military forces from Afghanistan, there has been an escalation in tensions which has caused large numbers of people to flee from their homes. The majority of people were forced to leave with just the clothes on their backs. For this reason, this edition of our newsletter will be focused on our work supporting refugees.
The UK evacuated more than 8,000 people eligible for the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy from 13 August. As part of its Afghan Resettlement Scheme the UK aims to take in up to 20,000 refugees over the coming years, with a focus on women and children, as well as religious and other minorities.
We believe that we have a duty to help those who have faced terrible circumstances to rebuild their lives, especially children who often arrive in the UK suffering from trauma and other health problems. It is this shared belief that drives many of our charity partners such as the Katherine Low Settlement in Battersea, Young Roots and others across London to help children and their families who have escaped the most horrendous experiences of war and violence and who are now caught up in asylum and the immigration system. Those who seek asylum can make a valuable contribution to our society and economy. The Childhood Trust is proud to to support our many charity partners who show compassion when it is most needed and help children to build a new life.
We help organisations like the Katherine Low Settlement to deliver their Love to Learn programme; our most recent campaign, Champions for Children, provided 106 Young People with access to sports, arts, cooking, and wellbeing activities through the summer holidays. You can read more about their work below.
Katherine Low Settlement (KLS) is a busy local charity that has been serving Battersea and the wider Wandsworth community since 1924. They are dedicated to building stronger communities and enable people to challenge and find ways out of poverty and isolation.
KLS’ mission has adapted to local community’s needs, including supporting refugee communities after the initial wave of Somali migrants in the 90s. Aaron Barbour, Director of Katherine Low Settlement, spoke to us about the importance of working with refugee communities.
What does your work do for children and young people living in poverty?
We focus mainly on community services for children and young people (CYP) from refugee backgrounds, as well as unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. It is our belief that ‘education is the best route out of poverty’, which we can primarily achieve through our Love to Learn education programme, which supports children and young people from refugee backgrounds by providing them with access to literacy programmes, homework clubs, and educational experiences. We also began working with other youth clubs to support these communities, which evolved into the Battersea Alliance that works together in a more strategic and effective way together to reduce poverty and build the community.
What changes do you see in the CYP after one session? What long term changes have you seen in the CYP’s behaviour/development/educational attainment?
Any behavioural, developmental, or educational changes that we see in CYP in our programmes are usually after they’ve interacted with us for a while. Our programme allows for us to see their progress and for bespoke support for not only the children who are participating, but also the family as a unit, as this allows for us to address a number of issues that can affect children on a day-to-day basis.
We have initial assessments with CYP and their families in order to set goals and figure out what they need most, and what they are suited for. By setting goals at the beginning and reviewing them regularly, we are able to look at outcomes and if we’re meeting their needs. Individual progress and feedback is imperative in giving them immediate support, especially if they are going through a difficult patch in their lives.
The Childhood Trust have been brilliant supporters of our work for many year, and here we are 5 years later continuing to grow and develop this income stream of online matched-fundraising campaigns. It’s been an amazing journey.