Here to Stay?

Identity, citizenship and belonging
among settled Eastern European migrant
children and young people in the UK
Young People

Welcome to our page for young people

This page gives you more information about the ‘Here to Stay?’ project and what it has achieved for young people.

What was the project about?

The project was called Here to Stay?, because it looked at the lives of young people born in Central and Eastern European countries, who then moved to the UK. We wanted to find out if young Europeans were happy in the UK, what they liked and disliked about living here and their hopes for future. Also, if they felt like they belonged in the UK and would like to stay long-term. What does it mean to feel Eastern European or British? Where is home for families who migrate? Do young people experience racism and xenophobia in their everyday lives? These were some of the questions we explored with young people.

Why was this project important?

Many young people have  moved to the UK from other European countries. It is important that we find out what it’s like for young people from migrant backgrounds to live in UK and how they felt about your life here. By giving young people a voice, we were able to tell adults in charge of key services such as schools or youth centres what can be done better for young people.

Who took part in the project

Over 1,200 young people aged 12 to 18 who moved to the UK from several Central and Eastern European countries since 2004 took part in our study in 2016-2018. Some of the countries young people came from are: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, Russia and Ukraine. Other young people were born to Eastern European families elsewhere, for example in Spain or Italy.

What did young people do in the project?

We carried out a UK-wide survey with over 1200 young Eastern Europeans – if you filled in our survey, thank you! We published the results of the survey on the website and spread the word on Twitter (@MigrantYouth) and Facebook. We followed up the survey with group meetings with 122 young people across the UK and 20 family case studies.

Were young people named in the project?

No young person was named in any project materials. All information provided by young people has been presented without identifying real names of people or places.

What did you do with the findings from the project?

We have written several reports on the project and presented them to teachers, social workers, service providers, people from local authorities and Government, so that Eastern European young people’s views were taken into account in improving services in the UK. We have also published research articles which you can find in our Publications page on this site.

We would like to thank all young people and families who plan to take part and support our project.

If you have any questions about the project, please contact the project leader, Prof Daniela Sime, at: