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Some of the refugees canoeing as part of a programme run by Lancashire Youth Challenge and funded by Lancashire County Council.jpg

Some of the refugees canoeing as part of a programme run by Lancashire Youth Challenge
Louise Bryning PR

Lancashire Youth Challenge (LYC) has been funded by Lancashire County Council’s Young Refugees Grant Scheme to work with a group of resettled refugees now living in North Lancashire.

LYC enables young people to build confidence and resilience by taking part in a programme of physical, creative and cultural activities and projects.

Since September, they have been working with 13 Syrian and Sudanese people aged 13-20 who have settled in Lancaster and Blackpool. Some have lived in the UK for a couple of years while others have arrived just recently.

All expressed interest in keeping fit, outdoor adventures and leisure activities so LYC devised a programme which has included abseiling, canoeing, rock climbing and ghyll scrambling during outdoor challenge days in the Lake District as well as skating at Lancaster on Ice and a guided tour around Lancaster Castle.

The young people have also attended mindfulness, meditation and one-to-one personal development sessions.

“The LYC programme is all about encouraging young people to overcome obstacles and fears as well as developing friendships with other refugees,” said Guy Christiansen, LYC chief executive.

Although the current project will end in January with a celebratory party, it is hoped that LYC will continue to work with the group and invite them to participate in their annual challenge which takes place every summer.

Aleksandra Bardon, health and wellbeing officer for Lancashire County Council’s Refugee Integration Team, said: “Being a teenager is not made easier by growing up in a new country. That's why I decided to devise the Young Refugees Grant Scheme which aims to support young people to settle into their new communities.

“The feedback about LYC has been great and their project has helped many young refugees try new activities, make friends and feel more at home.”