My View- What We've Been Up To
Here are a few things My View have been up to...
My View continues to support children with psychological issues including PTSD, guilt and shame and displacement, to develop trust in others, develop confidence, build strength and resilience and find their voice in a safe and non-judgmental setting:
- We have started a new Art Space group for young women in our Croydon offices. Unaccompanied girls and young women who are seeking asylum in the UK are in a very small minority and we have found that they sometimes feel intimidated by large groups of young men which may mean they find it hard to join in activities and group work. All these clients have been referred internally having been identified as young women who might benefit from a specialist therapeutic group.
- Our popular weekly Drama Therapy group in Stratford goes from strength to strength and we are noticing that we now get a regular stream of self-referrals who come via word-of-mouth recommendations by existing group members, accommodation units and community groups. At the moment members come from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Uganda, Albania and Iran.
- During the summer we went on a group outing to Greenwich Park that helped cement social bonds and reinforce some of the collaborative skills learned in our weekly activities. On the way we took the cable car across the Thames, a unique way to help give them a picture of the city which they now call home.
- For the second year running, this August we ran the My View gardening Therapy group in conjunction with the Brockwell park Community greenhouses in Brixton. While they were there, the young people were able to bond and share experiences, and also learned new skills, such as textile-printing with leaves and petals.
- In july we brought together professionals and stakeholders to celebrate the first year of the My View Project at a conference on the External Evaluation Report we had commissioned. Using the data and feedback presented in the report we were able to share our professional experience and best practice and expand our professional network of referral pathways and partner organisations.
- We were invited to present My View’s therapeutic services at a seminar on FGM in a mosque in Peckham and were able to share best practice drawn from experience of working with My View clients who have survived FGM and to make contacts with specialists and women’s groups within the community.
Check out our website for updates, Blogs and the latest information about our activities.
Trip to Sea Life London Aquarium:
We planned a psycho-educational trip for the separated children as an end of term trip to mark the last ArtSpace session of 2015. 12 young people went with Shahla, our art therapist, with the assistance of English teacher Patricia and our Youth Activities Coordinator, Joe Jakes, to the London Aquarium. They helped create an integrated, fun and 'unforgettable day' (as one of the young people who attended put it).
"Today I was on a trip with my Refugee Family. We visited Aquarium and saw lots of kinds of fishes like sharks. The alligator was very beautiful. I made new friends. The road was amazing cuz of the view on window. This was one of my best days ever"
My View Gardening Group:
This took place every Tuesday throughout August from 3 - 5pm at Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses. The group is a supportive space for unaccompanied refugee children under 18. Please contact Sarah for more information on 07880 197 155 or email Sarah.TempleSmith@refugeecouncil.org.uk
Self Development Group:
As part of the My View Project we ran a 7 week Self-Development course for boys for Shpresa, the programme for Albanians in London, at their centre in Canning Town. Every week on a Wednesday afternoon we met from 2 - 3.30pm to explore ideas of identity. It provided an opportunity for the young people to reconnect with their memories of home in an empowering way and to share their thoughts and feelings about living in the UK. At the end of the course those that wanted were referred to a counsellor for one to one therapy.
Refugee Week 2016:
Refugee Week is a great time for us to get out into the community to talk to people about the problems faced by refugees and asylum seekers and the work we do at My View. It’s particularly useful when we can share learning and best practice with other professionals who can use this knowledge in their own work with child refugees. Here, Fairway School, Mill Hill’s Special Educational Needs and Disabilities coordinator Lucy Polya and English as an Additional Language teacher Elpida Georgiu learn about the successes of the My View therapy service from one of our therapists.
They were also provided with briefs for simple experiential exercises to promote a better understanding of children’s cultural differences as well as leaflets and Welcome cards for pupils to use in classroom projects.