Organisation details - Children's Society - HEARTS service

Children's Society - HEARTS service

Address Hillside Enterprise Centre, Beeston Road, , , , , Leeds, LS11 8ND

Phone 0113 387 6410


Website Children's Society [external website]





The Children’s Society in Leeds offers a range of support services to refugee, asylum seeking and migrant young people and their families who face significant harm, inequality and neglect. It helps young people to access their rights and entitlements and promote their integration, through the HEARTS service [Help Each Asylum seeker and Refugee To Settle].

The HEARTS offers a youth programme, an advocacy service and mentoring:

Youth programme

The youth programme offers a range of skills sessions aimed at young migrants aged aged 14 to 21 years old to connect with others and build social networks, we offer a range of weekly social and creative activities in partnership with local partners [such as First Floor in Leeds, a creative arts organisation] who promote young people’s confidence and self-esteem.

The youth programme also provides orientation and prevention which is aimed at reducing the risks of exploitation and risk taking behaviour for young people who often lack awareness of their rights and entitlements and lack parental guidance [in particular unaccompanied asylum seeking young people]. The aim of the programme is to ensure that following arrival in their new city, young people are empowered to become full members of their new community.

The programme covers the key skills and areas of knowledge that young people need to develop in order to sustain an independent and safe life, such as:

  • UK culture
  • Rights, entitlements and responsibilities
  • Housing
  • Education pathways
  • Money management
  • Bullying/hate crime
  • Sexual health awareness/relationships
  • Drugs and alcohol awareness
  • First Aid

The programme can be delivered as part of a group or within mentoring. The choice of themes to be covered and the length of the sessions is determined by the level of awareness and understanding of the young people.

Advocacy service

A dedicated advocate/keyworker provides support to young people aged 14 to 21 who may be unfairly denied support or experience difficulties as a result of their immigration circumstances. Young people in need of support may find themselves in the following situations:

  • Not in education, employment or training [NEET]
  • No access to local support [eg healthcare, emotional support or local authority services]
  • Poor emotional and mental health
  • Housing issues, destitution
  • Immigration issues [undocumented, ARE etc]
  • Age disputed
  • Risk of exploitation and abuse [such as trafficking, FGM, forced marriage, forced labour, sexual exploitation]

The advocate/keyworker delivering the service is registered with the Office of Immigration Services Commissioner [OISC] Level 1 and is able to directly assist with some basic immigration work.

The role of the advocate/keyworker is to:

  • Assess young people’s needs in a way that accounts for language, cultural barriers
  • Build a trusting relationship with young people ensuring they are involved in decisions that impact on them and represent their views and best interest
  • Support young people to meet their basic needs: for instance, through accessing education, financial assistance
  • Guide young people through the immigration process helping them to understand their rights and entitlements, improve their access to immigration advice, [for example, identifying solicitors] and help them to regularise their status
  • Help young people access the support they are entitled to, including housing, health services, benefits, and education
  • Act as a responsible adult when required
  • Contribute to LAC reviews
  • Work closely with the allocated social worker


The aim is to match young people with a volunteer mentor [taking into account the young person’s interests, gender and cultural preferences] to offer practical help with areas that they identify as important to them. This could include:

  • Help with English language skills [conversational English]; educational support [homework]
  • Orientation [showing around the city, delivering our internally developed orientation and prevention programme etc]
  • Befriending

Each mentor will be able to support up to two young people at a time for a period of 9 to 12 months.

How to contact

Please contact us by email or phone.

asylum seeking children / UASC

asylum seekers


Opening times

Monday 9am-5pm
Tuesday 9am-5pm
Wednesday 9am-5pm
Thursday 9am-5pm
Friday 9am-5pm

We cover the following areas Leeds

Organisation type
voluntary sector or charity


Accessible to wheelchair users Yes

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Page last updated:06/09/2020 08:35:54