Hosting children and young adults
Schools, activities, free clothing: some things to help you
Early childcare support
Opora supports a Baby Basics scheme, offering supplies for 0-5 year olds.
Boden are providing Mini Boden clothes for refugee children aged 12 and under.
Sanctuary Foundation Resources – including referral form to request free baby supplies Babies & Children - How to Look After Young Refugees (sanctuaryfoundation.org.uk)
There is no consistent approach to securing a nursery or school place. Church schools, faith schools and academies have their own systems. In general, there are apparently quite a number of school places currently available, particularly in lower years.
In Islington, you can apply to a particular school through the local authority. You can also apply to a borough even if you don't live in it. You can direct any enquiries about school enrolment to firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is an FAQ from Islington:
1. How soon should I apply for a school place?
It is best to wait until your sponsored child/family arrives in the UK.
2. How can I apply for a school place for my sponsored family / child?
The in-year application form can be completed on-line for both primary and secondary schools. Please select ‘Other’ for ‘Relationship to Child’ and include ‘Sponsor’ in text box.
3. Which school should we apply to?
There are vacancies in a number of Islington schools, please contact the School Admissions Team to find out more 020 7527 5515.
You can review the admission brochures attached (used at start of the term but still relevant for in-year admission), or online (Primary admissions booklet and secondary admission booklet), to help you make your choice. You can use ‘Your Local Area‘ to find your nearest Islington schools.
4. Can I apply for schools not in Islington (out-of-borough)?
Yes – you can list any state school on your in-year application. The School Admission team will let you know if a place can be offered. You can ring the team on 020 7527 5515 or email them at email@example.com.
5. Will free school meals be provided?
Yes, Free School Meals will be provided by Islington schools. To get free school meals the Ukrainian national (parent/carer of the child) will first need to apply for a National Insurance Number here National Insurance Number - Gov.uk website. Please assist them in completing this application. This should be done in parallel to the sponsors registration of the child at a school. Once the national insurance number has been received, the sponsor should register the child to receive Free school meals.
6. What about travel to school?
Children under 5 years travel free with a fare paying adult.
Children of compulsory school age (5-16) get free travel on TfL bus routes with a Zip Oyster photocard: 5-10 Zip Oyster photocards - Transport for London (tfl.gov.uk) or 11-15 Zip Oyster photocards
7. Is there any information that schools might require at the time of enrolment?
It’s helpful for schools to know about medical conditions (e.g. allergies), dietary requirements (for school meals) and Special Educational or Disability needs, also any interpreting requirements. Please provide as much information as you are able to.
8. What about uniforms?
Money will be available from the Council to support the purchasing of school uniforms. A list of uniform stockists is attached.
As the host, we would be grateful if you could keep the council up-to-date on the arrival of children and any changes of circumstances (e.g. if the family move) and you can use the firstname.lastname@example.org email for this purpose.
You can direct any enquiries about school enrolment to email@example.com
In Camden, the council can apparently tell you which schools have places and then you apply by calling the schools directly. Brookfield Primary School in Camden will apparently be welcoming a number of Ukrainian children.
There is a letter from the Secretary of State to local authorities about school places and children arriving from Ukraine here.
Well-being Café and Stay and Play sessions at St George’s Church
St George’s Church on Crayford Road holds a number of regular activities which our guests are welcome to attend, including a Wellbeing Café which one of our newly arrived Ukrainian guests is already attending on Wednesday mornings 10:30 – 12:00. The Wellbeing Café was set up recently to help combat post-Covid loneliness and to help people relax and unwind. People drop in and ‘chill,’, there are often craft activities or people bring their own knitting etc. and some people play board or card games and there are toys for pre-school children. It’s a fun way to learn and practice English conversation as well. One of our members would be very happy to collect any of our Ukrainian guests and bring them along to the Wellbeing Cafe together with the lady who is already attending or to introduce any Ukrainian mother and pre-school child to the ‘Tufnell Tots’ stay and play group.
Tufnell Tots - free stay and play - every Thursday in term-time 10-11.30am
Open House - drop-in meal at the Vicarage (72 Crayford Road N7 0ND - next door to church) - every Tuesday 6-8.30pm
Wellbeing Cafe - free tea, coffee and cake, plus optional crafts, board games etc. - every Wednesday in term-time 10.30am-12 noon
Another local stay and play option: ‘Stay and Play’ Drop-in at the Early Years Hub in Whittington Park. For parents and carers with children aged 0 – 5.
Wednesdays and Thursdays, 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m Cost: £1 per family.
For those of you supporting teenagers and young adults: Young Roots is a London-based charity working with young refugees and asylum seekers aged 11-25, most of whom are alone in the UK without their families. They support young people to improve their wellbeing and fulfil their potential, through intensive one-to-one Casework, youth and sporting activities, English language mentoring, youth leadership and access to specialist therapeutic and legal advice.
Activities and clubs
Activities for young people 13+ in Islington over the summer holidays:
Other local options to look into:
Woodcraft Folk club: Wednesday 7-9pm at the Baptist church next to Archway station.
There’s also a fencing club at Acland Burghley but not aligned to it which runs classes every week.
There is Guides on a Tuesday at the Ramsay Scout Centre on the Holloway Road.
There’s Army Cadets on a Monday pm on Lakehurst Road.
Islington have a choir and orchestra which teens can audition to join.
For dance classes, there is city dance academy near to Essex Road station - they have Saturday and after school classes, including for teenagers.
Both Islington and Camden have children’s services on their websites which list other voluntary groups that have signed up with them including after school clubs.
There’s also the Almeida Saturday theatre group in Archway, NYT on the Holloway Road which runs some classes and also YATI on the Barnsbury Road which is acting etc classes and runs workshops during school holidays. There will also be free tennis classes via the LTA at the tennis courts on Market Road.
Young Roots is a charity supporting young refugees
Platform is an ognanisation supporting young people in Islington
Guide for parents (and hosts) supporting children dealing with trauma, in English, Russian and Ukrainian
Please find attached a guide containing practical advice that has been prepared for Ukrainian parents recently arrived in Britain. The guide explains the effect of trauma, how to recognise it, and what families can do. It has been put together by the Centre of Excellence in Child Trauma and the National Association of Therapeutic Parents.