Lancashire Times
A Voice of the North
4:24 PM 19th July 2021

Teenage Refugees Make Lancashire Their Home

Canoeing in the Lake District
Canoeing in the Lake District
A Lancashire-based youth charity is working with resettled refugees in Preston, South Ribble and Blackpool to help them feel at home in the county.

Lancashire Youth Challenge has joined forces with Lancashire County Council and Lancaster University to deliver a weekly programme of activities for teenagers who’ve fled trauma and challenging circumstances in Iraq, Syria, and Trinidad.

The finale of My Journey, My Destination is the launch of a short film about the project which will be screened for the first time on July 28 at St Stephen’s Church in Preston.

The film has been produced by six young people aged 13-18 working with the awardwinning writer, Amina Atiq. It focuses on migration and movement and is a celebration of their new lives in the UK.

It was filmed on location in Avenham Park, St Stephen’s Primary School and Church and in Preston city centre. Scenes were also filmed in one refugee’s home in Blackpool.

Once launched, the film can be viewed on LYC’s website – -and could also become part of Lancashire Archives.

Throughout the project, the teenage refugees have attended a variety of arts and outdoor activities including a visit to the Lake District which helped them to explore ideas of place, identity, migration, movement and resettlement.

Refugee Darya being filmed at his home
Refugee Darya being filmed at his home
Two refugees have achieved bronze Arts Awards as a result.

Tricia, mum of one of the refugees from Trinidad, said it has been a life changing experience for the teenagers.

“This was a wonderful programme tailored towards refugee children and their voice in the resettlement process which often goes unheard. The facilitators were patient, understanding and supportive throughout the entire journey.”

My Journey, My Destination follows LYC’s work in 2019 with a group of resettled Syrian and Sudanese refugees living in North Lancashire, funded by Lancashire County Council Young Refugees Grant Scheme.

In June, LYC was honoured with a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.