Baobab Centre for Young Survivors in Exile – Surviving violence, creating hope, rebuilding lives


Our impact

The Baobab Centre works with young asylum seekers with complex and chronic symptoms related to trauma, grief and developmental difficulties. We seek to achieve positive outcomes for our young community members in the short, medium and long term, working in particular to increase resiliencies and well‑being.

Young people supported by Baobab since we began in 2008
of young people supported by Baobab experienced at least one traumatic event before reaching the UK
had no parental figures in the UK when they arrived

After a series of violent experiences in their home countries and during flight, young people need help over a long period of time to achieve a steady sense of well-being and peace of mind. We work with young people for as long as is necessary. 

Progress is never linear, but a slow process that sometimes involves moving two paces forward and one backwards. Our approach is holistic, and we seek to build impact therapeutically, but also through our casework support and community activities. Rehabilitation and justice for our young community members are the main drivers of our work.

exhibited moderate/severe symptoms of depression (2022)
were experiencing a decrease in severe symptoms of depression after 3 years at Baobab (2022)
exhibited moderate/severe symptoms of anxiety (2022)
were experiencing a decrease in severe symptoms of anxiety after 3 years at Baobab (2022)

Hear from our young people

Find insights from our young people about their experiences with the Baobab Centre. Published in full in our 2022 Evaluation Report.

baobab tree illustration

In 2022 our young people said

  • 84% found psychotherapy “very helpful
  • 90% received help dealing with memories
  • 85% better understood their strengths and vulnerabilities
  • 80% received help with feelings
  • 78% were helped understanding their past

In 2022 our young people said

  • 87% found casework support “very helpful
  • 88% were helped with accessing asylum
  • 85% were helped with accessing housing
  • 80% were helped with accessing benefits
  • 69% were helped with accessing education

In 2022 our young people said

  • 92% feel they belong to the Baobab community
  • 76% find attending our community activities helpful
  • 74% find attending one of our therapeutic retreats helpful
  • 70% find attending our monthly Baobab dinners helpful
  • 79% feel they belong to a community in the past or who has passed away

Evaluating our impact

We regularly evaluate psychological and developmental outcomes of our work through both subjective and objective measures. Subjective measures include our therapists regularly discussing the outcomes of psychotherapeutic work in terms of regression, ‘stuckness’ and forward moves, and working with the young people towards their internal, and external, goals.

Since 2015, we’ve also been conducting an objective evaluation of the developmental and psychological outcomes for our young people, along with an evaluation of our services, every year. This evaluation tool, developed by the Baobab Centre and the Anna Freud Centre, makes use of a semi-structured interview that includes five standardised questionnaires of emotional well-being, psychopathology and resilience. It examines behaviour, depression, anxiety, affect regulation, resilience and sense of belonging, along with measures of our young people’s use of our services. 

We aim to be a reflective organisation. Our evaluation process aims to explore the consequences of our work in some detail in order to enable us to think about and improve our interventions. Find recent evaluation reports below.