3 Sep 2021
We Belong - the charity and campaign organisation run by and for young migrants - is set to open a base in Manchester in autumn 2021.
Applications are open now for a Manchester-based outreach officer.
We Belong is set to open a Manchester chapter this autumn - which will be its first base outside London.
The new chapter will work closely with We Belong colleagues from its London head office and will give the organisation greater reach across the country, ensuring young migrants nationwide have a more powerful voice. This new chapter will be supported by funding from the John Ellerman Foundation and the National Lottery Community Fund.
Recruitment is underway for a Manchester-based outreach officer, who will play a key role in the success of the new outpost (deadline 1 October). This role will include building connections with local youth organisations and recruiting and training young migrant volunteers to take part in We Belong's schools outreach programme.
We Belong was launched two years ago to provide practical and emotional support to young migrants who have grown up in the UK, whose life chances are limited by hostile immigration policies. We Belong campaigns for migrants' rights and aims to create future young leaders.
There are an estimated 332,000 children and young people in the UK without 'settled status'. Many came to the UK as young children and have lived here most of their lives, but face obstacles accessing further education and basic services; and are impoverished by having to pay regular, ever-increasing, Home Office fees to avoid losing their lawful immigration status.
We Belong has supported over 1,500 young migrants who are facing challenges because of their immigration status. Most of those are from London, but the biggest group by far from outside the capital (62%) are from Manchester. The organisation already has strong links with Manchester University, and will be working in partnership to raise awareness in local schools about the impact of immigration status on a young person's access to higher education, including information about student loans and scholarships.
We Belong CEO Chrisann Jarrett says:
'Since the inception of We Belong, we've aimed to be a national hub for young migrants with precarious immigration status in the UK. There is particular demand for our services in Manchester, which is why we are excited to be opening our first new chapter in the city. We want to help foster a community, through gatherings and meet-ups, so people feel less isolated, and can get support and information from others who know how they feel, because they are in the same situation.'