United Kingdom


Online and across the UK

2022 – present

Capacity Building and Awareness Raising Training

RYS’ training shares seven years of expertise gained from supporting children and young people on the move across Europe.

This expertise is shared with organisations and communities that support unaccompanied children, via capacity building and awareness raising trainings. This work is delivered as three trainings under the banner of Journey with an Unaccompanied Child. The training is delivered by RYS’ former frontline staff and young people with lived experience of arriving to the UK as children.

For more information on these courses, navigate the training menu above.

'No Children in Hotels' Project


From April 2023

Access to Rights

In January 2023, RYS was awarded a grant by the Blagrave Trust to start its first project in the UK that directly supports unaccompanied children.

In April RYS launched a new project titled ‘No Children in Hotels’ to help age-disputed asylum seeking children leave adult hotel accommodations and enter the appropriate care systems. The project team connects with children at their accommodations, providing welfare-based support and links to local groups and services. RYS ensures that every child has access to information, knows their rights, and takes the necessary steps to access them.

Keep an eye on our Latest News and social media to find out about the progress of this new project, and check out the Resources for further information about the issue.

Two young people chat and take notes infront of a computer

Access To Rights

Providing children with access to information, supporting them to be taken into the appropriate care systems.

A young girl wearing a pink top spins a ball on her finger in the park

Promoting Wellbeing

Monitoring the wellbeing of children and referring them to other services where available. Provision of activities for recreation and respite.

Young people are socialising outside and playing games together on the grass

Peer-To-Peer Support

Provision of safe spaces where children can build supportive networks with each other whilst engaging in recreational activities.

A 'Refugees Welcome' sticker on a post

Supporting Advocacy

Providing data and insights regarding the context and the conditions children face, to the network of organisations already working on this issue.


Calais & Dunkirk, France

2016 – 2021

Mobile Youth Service

Between 2016 and 2021, RYS improved the safety and well-being of thousands of displaced children and young people who were residing outside of state care systems.

In northern France, unaccompanied children and young people remain highly vulnerable, suffering from daily police pressure using violent means to dismantle makeshift camps, lacking appropriate hygiene, sanitation, or healthcare as well as sufficient services providing age and language appropriate information about their legal options.

For five years, RYS provided safe spaces, both fixed and mobile, from which a team of local professionals ensured that children knew their rights and were able to access state child protection services if they wanted to.

In 2021, RYS committed itself to a new chapter of support for children in northern France by releasing an open-call for locally registered organisations to take the work forward. In September of that year Every Child Protected Against Trafficking (ECPAT) France was selected and offered a three-year grant. Putting a French organisation in the place of RYS has enhanced coordination and collaboration with the institutions that are responsible for protecting children at local and national level.

How Did We Do It?

A group of young people having a meeting around a computer

Welfare Checks

Building trusting relationships with children in order to monitor their wellbeing.

Young people sitting under a blue gazebo playing with blocks and reading books


Facilitating access to state child protection systems.

Two people sitting together with one taking notes in a pad


Providing information on rights and legal routes to other countries (where they exist).

Person at a protest holding a painted sign reading 'Fight For A Better Tomorrow'

Fighting For Rights

Advocating for children’s rights, when these were denied by the state.

Young people playing football and skateboarding


Running outdoor activities and trips that provide respite and support the building of trusting relationships with trained professionals, and self-protective networks among children themselves.

The word 'LOVE' has been built out of coloured wooden blocks


Promoting healthy coping strategies among children who were in unimaginable living conditions.

Young people sitting outside using lego blocks to learn


Providing fun lessons and activities including languages, science, maths… and lots of Lego building!

A young person in a camp with white huts on a sandy beach


Making referrals to other organisations for services not provided by RYS, for example food, clothing, phone credit, psychological support.


Athens, Greece

2017 – present

Safe Space, Youth Empowerment & Integration

Velos Youth

An essential sanctuary for displaced youth in Athens.

Velos Youth

In 2017 RYS founded and registered Velos Youth in Athens, Greece, in order to hire local staff and begin the journey of nurturing an autonomous organisation that would eventually be entirely locally led, and independent of RYS.

Velos Youth supports unaccompanied young people on the move to access their rights, in order to restart and rebuild their lives. It achieves this via a holistic approach, providing access to legal, social and psychological support through an open safe space and supported accommodation. It focuses on young people building lives integrated within Greek society, to ensure long term stability and opportunities.

Today there are 1,000+ unaccompanied children in Greece. Upon turning 18 they are excluded from secure housing, integration services and guardianship. Wrapped in a legal limbo, they face significant barriers to integration including long asylum procedures; housing shortages; restricted access to medical care, education and employment. Velos’ activities centre around addressing these barriers and promoting wellbeing, social development and self-reliance; young people supported are treated as autonomous agents, with change fostered via the mentorship of qualified professional staff.

Today Velos Youth is independent of RYS, though RYS continues to act as an intermediary funder for a small number of Velos Youth’s projects.

The Velos Youth Centre provides a relaxed and welcoming safe place for young people to visit during the day.

The space offers basic services such as food and showers, and facilitates, through a team of local professionals, access to specialist NGO and state-run services. Caseworkers take a holistic approach to the wellbeing of young people, making internal and external referrals to protection, asylum, accommodation, employability and education services; protecting and advocating for their rights.

In 2021 Velos Youth also launched its Housing Integration Project. The project continues to complement the Velos Youth holistic care model and benefits young people already accessing other Velos Youth services. Through the programme young people are supported by a range of local professionals to find work, organise their finances and subsequently source stable private accommodation. The project uses a number of activities, arranged under the following two pillars, to achieve its mission to support integration and inclusion of young people, and to allow them to live in autonomy.

Velos Youth remains an essential sanctuary for displaced youth in Athens.