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BBC Children in Need has funded our Children and Young Persons Project for 17 years running. Over that time, we have helped hundreds of children and young people become more integrated, confident and happy.

What is the project?
DPIA’s Children and Young Persons Project is funded by BBC Children in Need. The project delivers a weekly programme of groups and activities for refugee and asylum seeking children and young people who are under the age of 18 years. It is hoped that children will experience a greater sense of happiness, that they will build stronger friendships and that they will have opportunities to have more fun as a direct result of taking part in the project.

The project is currently running weekly ‘family-play’ and ‘after-school’ group sessions, weekly ‘baby and toddler’ play sessions and activities (including monthly rhyme-time and library sessions) and monthly ‘family-film’ nights. The project also organises family day-trips and outings (during school holidays).

When was it set up and why was this project needed?
The project was established in 2003 and was initially set up to support and promote the active inclusion of refugee and asylum seeking children and young people in mainstream services and provisions. With thanks to BBC Children in Need for funding the project from the start; the project has worked with hundreds of children and young people over the years and made a positive difference to many lives.
The projects’ main initiatives have been developed to address some the disadvantages facing many of the children and young people we work with. Although the experiences and circumstances of the children we work with are diverse we see many who are feeling lonely, anxious and isolated. This is mainly as a result of experiencing a period of disrupted schooling, living in temporary accommodation, navigating a complex asylum system, lack of community links and family support networks and moving to unfamiliar areas. The project provides children with a regular, friendly and social environment; with opportunities to engage,
participate and have positive experiences. It is hoped that the project will help children to feel more settled and happy.

What has it achieved?
Last year, the project worked with over 100 children and young people. The majority of children were aged under 10 years of age. As a result of being part of the project:
Over 80% of children experienced a ‘greater sense of happiness’
75% of children made ‘stronger friendships’ and
100% of children ‘had more fun’
Over 100 groups, activities, trips and outings were run last year and highlights included our Christmas/ Autumn events, our family day-trips to Margam Park, Amelia Trust Farm and Bristol Zoo, our ‘end of year’ party celebrations (in August 2019) and our many visits to local parks, museums and play centres.

Here’s some of the things children and parents have said about the project lately:
“I really enjoy coming here to do arts with my friends!”
“Love the trips and travelling”
“I come to my group to see my friends, I love to see people.”
“Coming here makes me happy.”
“Love the activities”
“Brings people joy and happiness”
“This group makes everyone’s life enjoyable”

Get in touch!
The project produces a monthly activity programme for project members. Day trips and outings are advertised within the group setting. Please get in touch to find out about how you can get involved.

For more information about the project, to get involved and/or to find out when and where project activities are taking place please contact:
Louise Kalicinski | Children’s Project Coordinator | | 029 2078 9733 | 07967 054973