Supporting young refugees build happy, healthy futures

31 October 2022

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Springboard Youth Academy (SYA) is a London-based organisation dedicated to providing newly arrived young people from all over the world with a vital opportunity to forge friendships, acquire essential linguistic and life skills, and find agency, as they rebuild their lives. We are proud to grant them unrestricted, multiyear funding to help them continue to deliver their exceptional and much needed provision.

Founded in 2017, SYA is a young organisation built on a bedrock of expertise and experience. Working with young people at an Afghan community organisation in Northwest London, Tyler Fox observed the lack of holistic provision for refugee and asylum-seeking in the mainstream education system. Together with colleagues from the education and mental health sectors, she founded SYA to offer more tailored provision than is currently available in the under-resourced mainstream school system, supporting children between 13 – 18 years old to thrive, instead of simply survive. 

Before Springboard everything was boring and stressful. I now see new people and learn new things every day…I feel more confident and hopeful. I would like to come back and teach [new] people on Springboard.’ – SYA Graduate

SYA offers ‘wrap around support’, linking language learning to life skills in their action-packed participatory programmes. Partnering with schools and local authorities in north-west London, and with plans to expand to the north-east of the capital, they run weekend, half-term, and summer programmes, led by experienced ESOL educators committed to helping students to ‘learn by doing’. Their unique, dynamic curriculum is designed to help students to connect with the learning and with one another through relevant, thought provoking topics, from sex education to the current state of the world. Using storytelling techniques, dramatic arts exercises and workshop-style teaching, students role-play real life situations, helping them rehearse for and confidently meet the challenges and business of the day-to-day in the UK. The holistic education they provide is complemented with support that goes beyond, offering wellbeing provision, basic advocacy, helping students access key services, and one-on-one support to help with pathway planning. 

We are inspired by SYA’s dedication to building community, confidence, and giving young people opportunity for connection in the wake of the catastrophic disconnect they have experienced. We are excited to join at a moment where they are shoring up their foundations and expanding, and look forward to seeing how they evolve.

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