“Dost is a safety net if all else fails…they are a backbone with their support. Dost is the thing you can fall back on.”
Petras (arrived from Lithuania aged 12)
Dost’s work is:
There are often a number of professionals involved in the lives of young migrants and refugees (teachers, social workers, key workers, solicitors etc.). Dost’s services are independent from public bodies and are centred around the young person. We advocate in the child or young person’s best interests and work closely with other professionals to develop a network of support around them.
“They helped me psychologically because I was depressed. They are there to actually listen to you. What I wanted was someone I could just talk to, to listen to me, I didn’t want someone to tell me it was OK and stuff, I just wanted to say everything that was on my mind.”
– Christelle (arrived from Democratic Republic of Congo aged 14)
“They try to help you in any way, to live your life positively. You are not depressed because no one is helping you – you have got somewhere to go. If I didn’t come here to Dost I am 100% sure that I would have ended up in jail or, or, I was gonna die.”
– Hamid (arrived from Afghanistan aged 15)
At the heart of our work are the relationships we build with the children and young people we work with. The impact of good relationships on self-esteem, resilience and personal growth is well documented, with significant research indicating that engagement in positive relationships is the single most important factor in children/young people becoming healthy adults. Our approach recognises the need for consistent, long-term practical and emotional support provided by a trusted adult as a means of bringing about positive change in young people.
Dost is located within Trinity Centre, an open access community centre. All staff offices are easily accessible, on the ground floor of the building in the central space known as the ‘Day Centre.’ Dost staff are present throughout the week and the Centre provides a safe space for young people to drop-in and meet staff and friends in addition to planned activities.
Recent research from the University of East London described Dost as having a ‘transformative positive impact’ on the lives of the young people we work with. Read more and download the full report.
Other professionals, and the young people themselves, agree that young refugees and migrants supported by Dost:
- have improved their capacity to make informed decisions and positive choices about their lives
- have taken up, maintained or improved their engagement in education, training or employment
- have been diverted from anti-social behaviour or criminal activities
- have improved their lifestyle with regard to eating habits, physical activities, substance use
- have improved social and emotional well-being and resilience.
- have improved levels of achievement and increased likeliness of fulfilling their potential.