What we do

Who we work with

We work with young refugees and asylum seekers in London.

Most of these young people are unaccompanied or separated from family.

Some facts[1]

  • in 2019, worldwide, 25,000 children applied for asylum having arrived in the country of refuge alone, with no parent or guardian
  • in the year ending December 2020, the UK received 2,291 applications for asylum from unaccompanied children. unaccompanied children is unaccounted for or missing)
  • Many of them come from Eritrea, which has been condemned by the UN for gross human rights violations.
    • As well as Eritrea, they come from countries including Sudan, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Iraq, Iran, Albania, Ethiopia and Syria.

There are many reasons why these young people start or end their journeys alone: their families may have made the difficult decision to send them away to protect them from violence or persecution in their home country, or they may have lost their families in conflict or en route to safety.

They are likely to have suffered physical and/or psychological trauma, and are vulnerable to violence, abuse and exploitation (rough estimates suggest that up to two-thirds of trafficked children go missing from care after they are identified by the UK authorities [2]).

What we do

Soundmix provides free structured music and arts based activities and workshops, either directly or in partnership with other organisations who work with young refugees and asylum seekers.

Our workshops typically comprise guided music tuition, singing, song-writing and performance and access to musical equipment.

There is substantial evidence supporting the psychological benefits of music based activities. Our workshops are designed to:

  • Improve musical ability
  • Promote social inclusion and citizenship, and reduce social isolation
  • Improve confidence, psychological well-being and core skills (eg language, communication and collaborative working).

We achieve this by:

  • Encouraging active learning, creativity and self-expression
  • Rewarding development, achievement and commitment
  • Providing a safe, supportive environment in which to socialise, make friends and have fun!

Our activities supplement the work of organisations who work with these young people on a day-to-day basis (and we aim to complement and contribute to their intended outcomes).

Our key project partners are The Refugee Council and Children in Need. We’ve also run projects with the Red Cross, John Ruskin College, Quest Academy, Compass Boy’s Group, Refugee Youth Project Girl’s Group, Young Roots and DOST, and participate in Refugee Week and Croydon Young Refugees Network.


[1] Asylum applications in 2015 in Europe: Total: 1,392,655. Children: 405,955, including unaccompanied children: 95.970. “Danger Every Step Of The Way – A Harrowing Journey To Europe For Refugee And Migrant Children” – UNICEF CHILD ALERT, JUNE 2016 https://353ld710iigr2n4po7k4kgvv-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/UNICEF-CHILD-ALERT-Refugee-Journey.pdf

[1] “Children in the Asylum System” REFUGEE COUNCIL REPORT, AUGUST 2020

Facts about separated children

[2] “The Refugee Crisis In Europe: The UK’s Role In Protecting The Rights Of Unaccompanied And Separated Children” UNICEF BRIEFING PAPER, JUNE 2016 https://353ld710iigr2n4po7k4kgvv-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/The-Refugee-Crisis-in-Europe.pdf