We Belong was established in 2019. Since then, we have:
- Worked with over 1,300 young migrants, aged 16-25, providing information support and guidance.
- Mobilised over 300 young people to commit to social change by providing the tools and the platform for them to speak out about injustice.
- Made grants of over £20K to assist young people with basic essential needs throughout the pandemic.
- Engaged over 100 young people to write to their MP’s and get them engaged in the democratic process.
- Gained cross-party support from members of parliament for our equal access campaigns.
- Developed a CPD accredited leadership programme graduating 80 young changemakers.
- Submitted evidence to 5 parliamentary enquiries.
- Raised awareness of the UK’s hostile environment through campaign videos that have been viewed over 20,000 times.
- Engaged journalists to develop an alternative narrative and humanised the migrant experience.
- Launched three reports nationwide reports detailing the impact of the UK’s immigration system on young people who have grown up in the UK.
We have built the brand of We Belong as an organisation run by, and for, young people. The youth voice is at the heart of our work, our campaigns have been co-designed and implemented by young migrants with lived experience of the UK’s immigration system.
By building relationships with young people, harnessing their skills and using this kinetic energy to power our campaigns we have accelerated the pace of social change. We have developed successful national campaigns and collaborated with organisations and professionals along the way. Our focus is to address the root causes that prevent young migrants from participating in society and reaching their full potential.
Our successes include:
- A major campaign win: the Home Office announced that they will be removing the ten-year route to settlement for young people who came here as children and are fully integrated. This route will be replaced by a shorter and more affordable five-year route. This is what we had been advocating for for years and will impact not only our lives as staff with lived experience, but the lives of potentially over 300,000 young people living in the UK today with precarious status.
- Changing the law! We submitted evidence in an intervention in the Supreme Court which led to a change in Student Finance rules allowing long term migrants the chance to go to university with access to a student loan
- Creating over 20 scholarships for long-term migrants through our ‘Young Gifted and Blocked’ campaign by working with Universities around the UK on widening participation
- Successfully campaigning for the Home Office to freeze immigration fees for two years through our ‘Freeze our Fees’ Campaign
- Gained the support of the Mayor of London to create an office for the Deputy Mayor for Social Integration so that the voices and concerns of young Londoners can be represented at a London-level