The Hillingdon Refugee Support Group (HRSG) is a registered charity and Limited Company. It was established and started in December 1996 in response to an acknowledgment of a crisis relating to the provision of care services for local young refugees (16-18 year olds in the main) who were living in bed and breakfast accommodation in the immediate West Drayton area. HRSG was founded by Reverend Theo Samuels and was initially hosted at his church, St Martins West Drayton.
HRSG has charitable objects of welcoming and providing care and practical support to young unaccompanied asylum seekers and refugees aged 16-21 years who reside in the London Borough of Hillingdon. The beneficiaries are all looked after unaccompanied refugees and asylum seekers aged 16-21 who have come to Britain alone seeking refuge/asylum. All will be separated from their families and a significant number will have experienced childhood trauma and have lived in areas of conflict.
HRSG works with unaccompanied young people up to the age of 25 if they continue to be supported by social services as care leavers. HRSG offers support to unaccompanied asylum seekers and refugees from all backgrounds and religions. It works in close association with other community groups and other voluntary and statutory organisations in order to protect and promote the rights of all asylum seekers and refugees.
The Company is registered as Hillingdon Refugee Support Organisation (HRSO), however continues to trade as Hillingdon Refugee Support Group.
Increasingly in recent times, world events have led to greater numbers of separated children arriving in the UK, needing our support. The needs presented by these children can differ greatly from those of local looked after children, and for professionals working in support roles this has meant a need for wider knowledge.
Extreme events including war, political and other violence, and the experience of separation and loss have played a significant role in the recent past of young people who have been compelled to leave their homes and journey to seek safety elsewhere. The impact of this trauma may continue as they make their way through the asylum system, and attempt to find their place in a new and uncertain life.
Unaccompanied asylum seeking and refugee young people are some of the most vulnerable in our society. They are alone and in an unfamiliar country, at the end of what could have been a long, perilous and traumatic journey. Some of them may have experienced exploitation or persecution in their home country or on their journey to the UK. Some may have been trafficked with many more are at risk of being trafficked, being exploited in other ways, or going missing once they arrive in the UK.
Our Vision is that they are all treated as young people first and foremost. Although their immigration status will have an impact on their future, they should not be defined solely by their status as asylum seeking or refugee young people. They have faced many difficulties in their lives and will need to be cared for. They are children who will need access to education and a range of public services to offer them the support and accommodation they need to promote their safety, health and wellbeing