Birmingham’s Looked After Children Education Service’s Story

Kerry Reidy

Working with Geese on projects specifically aimed at unaccompanied minors was a humbling and inspirational experience.  

As a collective - Geese and Virtual School - we did not know how this would work, we had discussed what our aims were but we were heading into the unknown. 

The week was a great success: all the children spoke positively regarding their experience and embraced the opportunity to tell their story and make new friends. To exemplify this commitment a young person decided to re-arrange their weekly session with a therapeutic mental health care worker as he felt that the week was proving to be more effective in helping him deal with his feelings. It became evident that attending this project helped to alleviate anxiety the young people might have been suffering by meeting others they could relate with.

This was shown during circle time when young people were able to share their experiences in their journey to seeking asylum in the UK. Examples included:
• A person talked about his journey, using a map of the world.  He showed us the countries he travelled through sharing experiences like running at night across borders while sleeping in the day.  He told us about losing the soles of his shoes, and how cold the nights were.
• Another young person talked about how his brother had been killed on their journey and why friendships had now become important to him.

In reflection, the week provided an environment for young people to feel more connected to their adopted country and formed a kind of group therapy, helping those with less confidence to also contribute positively. The week was also important in giving young people a voice.  

To conclude, through the medium of drama the group explored themes of social isolation, emotional issues, self-confidence, sense of belonging, conflict, positive decision-making and future aspirations.  
A truly inspirational week full of laughter, learning, bonding and a few tears for young people and adults alike!