Supporting our refugee and asylum-seeking customers

The Coventry FoyerLike many of our Supported Living schemes, Coventry Foyer offers housing-related support to vulnerable young people.

Our staff aim to teach residents the skills they need to live on their own.

Unlike a lot of other schemes, Coventry Foyer has a large proportion of refugee and asylum-seeking customers (Roughly 41%)

It’s important to understand what exactly the terms ‘refugee’ and ‘asylum-seeker’ mean. The differences, may seem small but they are important.

What are the differences?

  • Refugees are people fleeing armed war or poor treatment. Their situation is so risky that they cross national borders to look for safety.
  • Asylum seekers are people who claim to be a refugee but their claim hasn’t been checked out. This person would’ve applied for protection in another country. Going back to their country would lead to poor treatment because of their of race, religion, nationality or political beliefs.
  • Migrants don't move because of a direct threat or persecution but mainly to improve their lives.

Working together

Coventry Foyer may seem like a random place for these young people to settle, but the majority of them arrive at the Foyer through our strong partnership work with a local authority – Warwickshire County Council (WCC) and their Asylum Team.

Sam Church, Homeless Prevention Advisor for WCC’s Asylum Team, said: “Our team has a great working relationship with the staff at Coventry Foyer.  The staff have been very flexible with letting us use their rooms to hold weekly housing and career drop-ins for our young people."

"They have also accommodated us to use their rooms as a place to work and meet young people face-to-face. This has proven invaluable to building relationships with our unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and care leavers, and also with the staff at the Foyer.”

Welcoming residents

To create an inclusive environment and make all residents feel as welcome as possible, out staff do a number of things at Coventry Foyer when COVID restrictions allow them to.

They've worked with WCC to teach English lessons to improve their spoken and written English.

They also use the specialist knowledge of organisations like the Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre, The Children’s Society, and The British Red Cross to increase the support residents receive.

Staff members show that they care

Staff recently decorated the reception in celebration of Eid. Some members of the team have also taken extra training in their own time so that they can offer even more support. As a team they aim to make sure customers can tell their stories and feel heard.

One of our customers at Coventry Foyer, said: “The staff at Coventry Foyer have helped me work with people which has started the reunion process to try and bring my brother to the U.K. The staff make me feel like they care. The Foyer has helped me to find my feet in the U.K. and I am excited for the future.”

 

15th June 2021 | 2021