Turn to Afghan Association Paiwand Ltd for supported accommodation services and advice. Based in Edgware, London, our volunteers are committed to helping young refugees and asylum seekers who are alone in the UK. Since 2002, we have done our utmost to provide the appropriate emotional, cultural, and linguistic support required to reach out to members of the Afghan community. Supplementing and complementing the work of statutory agencies and mainstream service providers. Get in touch today for more details.
Opening a supported accommodation service stemmed from our desire to relieve the housing shortage for homeless young people aged 16 – 18 years old within refugee and ethnic communities in England. Unfortunately, there have been instances of homeless young refugees who lack basic life skills and feel overwhelmed by living alone in a big city. This has often resulted in substance misuse, depression, mental health issues, delinquency, and in some cases, suicide.
The majority of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are aged between 16 and 17 years of age. Most of them have been through traumatic experiences before their arrival to the UK, and upon arrival, they are faced with the further challenges of adapting to a different country, culture and climate. The uncertainty of their asylum status and living away from their loved ones adds to the stress and anxiety already experienced by these young people. If they are not provided with the appropriate support, it could markedly hinder their integration into British society.
Through our experience and involvement in community work with refugees, we believe that we are one of the best-suited organisations to deliver this kind of service. Sharing the same socio-cultural background with young people helps us establish a strong rapport and climate of trust, which enables us to become role models for them, thus reducing the risk of delinquency and associated problems.
Based in the London borough of Harrow
11 High Street,
HA8 7EE, each of our supported accommodations consists of a shared house and private garden for seven young people. All of our spacious accommodations are decorated to a good standard and situated in pleasant locations, with easy access to public transport links and local amenities.
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Communal Lounge with Sofa, Television, Pool Table, Dining Table and Chairs
Shared Bathroom, Downstairs WC, and Shower Room
Shared Kitchen with Dishwasher, Oven, Toaster, Fridge, and Freezer
Shared Utility Room with Washing Machine, Drier, and Ironing Facilities
Shared Study Room, Equipped with 3 Computers with Internet Access
Additionally, each young person is allocated their own bedroom, which is fully furnished with:
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Single or Double Bed
All accommodations are maintained to the regulatory safety standards for housing and environmental health requirements, including:
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NICEIC Electrical Safety Certificate
Gas Safety Certificate
Fire Exit Signs
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Fire Extinguishers and Fire Blanket in the Kitchen
Repairs are carried out promptly and professionally, whenever needed. Please note that non-accidental damage to the property is not covered in the rent or by our insurance policy.
Paiwand recognises the importance of supporting refugee and asylum-seeking young people within the framework imposed by the Immigration Rules without either isolating or damaging the aspirations of the service users.
Recognising that support plans must be realistic and carefully set out, we do our utmost to incorporate the possibility of young people visiting their country of origin while planning to remain in the UK. Each plan focuses on supporting all spheres of the user’s life, including:
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Building Skills and Resilience to Cope with Problems When They Arise
Raising Awareness of Rights, Responsibilities, and Where to Seek Help
Building Knowledge of Their Personal and Family History and Cultural Identity, and How These Influence Ideas, Attitudes, and Behaviour
Developing Relationships outside of the Service
Developing Communication Skills and Overcome Language Barriers
Accessing Education, Training, and Employment, as well as Career Planning, including Short, Medium and Long-Term Aims
Maintaining/Sustaining Contact with Family, Important Individuals, Groups, and Agencies
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Also, to Use International Tracing Services to Attempt to Trace Family Members
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Parallel Planning for the Possibility of the User Returning to Their Country of Origin
Encouragement and Support to Take an Active Role in the Formulation of Their Care, Pathway Plan and Transition to Independent Living
Planning Finances, Household Budgeting, and Matching Expenditure to Income
Carrying out Practical Tasks to Live in Independent Accommodation without Endangering Their Physical Well-being
Recognising, Accepting, and Valuing Differences, including Culture, Lifestyle, Religion, Sexuality and Gender
Developing Strategies to Deal with Discrimination
Learning to Live Peacefully with Themselves and Others
Recognising in Oneself and Others the Limits or Boundaries of Consent, e.g. Noise Levels; Abuse Either Physical, Racial, or Verbal; Contact Either Physical Or Sexual.
Health Education, including Mental Health, Personal Hygiene, Sexual Education, including Contraception and Preparation for Parenthood;
Resettling in Independent Accommodation
Through our supported accommodation programme, we aim to provide safe and structured accommodation for young refugees and unaccompanied minors between the ages of 16 and 18. Encouraging an atmosphere of safety, mutual respect, and care, we provide complete support for young people by assessing their needs and presenting behaviours.
Support sessions are arranged for a minimum of 5 hours per week, but this is flexible and can be increased as needed. Paiwand also aims to:
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Prepare Young People for Their Transition to Adult Status
Work in Partnership with Local Authority Services and Other Agencies to Provide an Effective Service for Young People
Enable Young People to Develop Life Skills and Knowledge of British Society and Culture through a Formal Preparation for Independence Programme
Acknowledge and Celebrate Culture, Race, and Ethnicity
Provide Opportunities for Support and Integration into the Community
Encouraging Refugees to Support Themselves through Education and Training
Commend Young People’s Personal Achievements
Plan and Prepare Young People to Move on within Agreed Timescales
Carefully Implement and Monitor Each Young Person’s Pathway Plan
Deliver an Effective Resettlement Programme That Teaches the Skills Necessary to Live Independently and Promotes Resilience to Survive on Their Own
Support Asylum-Seeking Young People within the Framework Imposed by the Immigration Rules
Deliver a Service in accordance with the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000, The Children’s Act 2004, and All Relevant Government and Statutory Regulations and Guidance
Deliver a Service in accordance with the Housing Act 1989, the Care Standards Act 2000, the Health and Safety Act 1974, and the Fire Precaution Act 1971.
Maintaining strong links with local Youth Stop branches and other youth support agencies, we help to connect young people with opportunities for suitable courses, training, and employment. Additionally, we encourage people to attend college open days to explore further education opportunities.
We also offer a supplementary Saturday school at Stag Lane Junior School in Edgware. This includes English and maths classes and Afghan mother tongue lessons in Pashto and Dari.
Our preparation for independence programme will help develop young people’s ability to:
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Build and Maintain Both General and Intimate Relationships with Others
Develop Their Self-Esteem and Resilience
Obtain Practical and Financial Skills and Knowledge
Make Positive Lifestyle Choices
Preparing and Cooking Food
Communicating with Others and Developing Friendships outside of the Care System
Applying and Interviewing for Jobs
Exploring and Managing Feelings and Wellbeing
Developing Personal Values
Developing Problem Solving and Negotiation Skills
Planning and Reviewing Actions
Additionally, we organise a range of youth activities, including drama, music, football, girls’ and boys’ clubs and other social activities at various schools, colleges, and community venues across North West London. Mentoring sessions are also available, and we arrange one-to-one key work sessions to discuss and review the young person’s progress.
Referrals are accepted from Local Authority Housing, Social Care and Youth Offending services nationwide. We accept asylum seekers and young refugees aged between 16 and 18 years old, who have been assessed as being vulnerable and in need of supported housing.
On receiving an initial referral or enquiry, a copy of the statement of purpose, fees, referral form and young people’s information will be sent to the referrer. The referral form must be returned to the Housing Manager, along with the following supporting documentation:
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Copy of the Pathway Plan
Relevant Reports to Assist in Our Work with the Young Person, including:
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Health and Education Reports
Immigration Status Assessments
Previous Placement Reports
LAC Review Minutes
The referrer may organise an informal visit with the young person either before or after the submission of the referral form. Once a placement has been accepted, the referrer will receive two copies of the placement agreement for signing, one of which will be returned to the Housing Manager. This must be completed prior to the young person moving in.
On the day of admission, we require a meeting to take place to plan and agree on the details of the placement plan, including:
Page 5 - details of the placement plan, including:
Financial and Practical Arrangements
Allocation of Roles
Agreement of Timescales
On arrival at the accommodation, the young person will be greeted by the Wellbeing & Support Manager, who will show them around the property and facilities, discuss health and safety procedures, day-to-day activities, housekeeping, and house rules. The young person will receive keys to their room, the front door, and allocated kitchen cupboard, along with contact details for managers, Night Key Workers, and emergency contacts.
Furthermore, the Wellbeing & Support Manager will meet with the young person for a key work session within two days of admission to introduce them to the local community, highlighting the following:
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Places of Worship
Citizens Advice Bureau
Social and Cultural Links
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Risk Assessment Form
Policies and Procedures
Emergency referrals will only be accepted where there is reason to believe the placement will be successful and that Paiwand’s supported accommodation service is an appropriate resource for the young person.
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