This is the story told to us by one of our service users, and how we supported them to turn their life around:

I am 21 years of age, from East Africa. I walked from my country in December 2013, to Ethiopia, and from, Ethiopia to Sudan then I travelled by a cargo truck to Libya, and to the United Kingdom. Because of the problems that are happening in my country, there were political uncertainties, which citizens of my country are not free to live in their own country, you can’t speak freely in my country as the Government will arrest you and lock you up in the prison, without trial. So I took a lot of risks to travel to the United Kingdom.

When I first arrived I didn’t know anybody, and I barely speak English, I sought for asylum, and I was put in a five bedroom shared accommodation with five other people, who have the same situation like me, but they are from different countries who are also asylum seekers. The day I was granted refugee status, I was asked to leave the house, just after I got my resident permit. I became homeless, sleeping rough, which was hard to bear with as a young person without any family connection or social network in the UK. I always sneaked in at night from building to building, to sleep, and when it gets dark in the night, I got panic and anxiety, because I don’t know what would happen to me.

I went back to the refugee council, and after that they referred me to Renewal Programme Housing, I was assessed and they give me accommodation, however, I was supported to enrol to study English language by referring me to the Renewal Programme college, I also have a regular face to face support to discuss any issues that I’m going through in my life, which I’m pleased with the support; because it helps me to get what I need especially positive guidance from my keyworker.

Another positive gain was, I was supported by my keyworker to obtained my travelling document from the Home office, which I was very happy the day, I received my first passport, with my picture in it, this has given me freedom as a person. Basically, after all these problems I had suffered, I finally got the support I needed at last, from the Renewal Programme Housing to turn my life around-Thank you. In future I will like to have my own home and have a qualification in computer, furthermore, to have my own car, a good job so that I can help myself and my future family as I will like to have a great family in the United Kingdom.