Olu: “I am now optimistic for the future” Olu came from Nigeria in 2005 and faced many challenges due to his immigration status. Olu was exploited by employers who paid him very little money for various jobs but he felt he had no choice but to continue to work for poverty wages. Eventually, Olu’s marriage broke down and suddenly he became a single parent. Olu was unable to work and turned to his local church who provided him with shelter and emotional support. His church then referred Olu to the Renewal Programme as it could no longer provide financial support to him and his children. At the Renewal Programme, we work closely with a network of churches, mosques and other location organisations who provide many kinds of support to people in the community in Newham. Once he came to the Renewal Programme, Olu was assessed by a caseworker with the Refugee and Migrant Project and referred to our weekly food bank. He was also advised to join the English and Maths classes provided by the Renewal Programme, to help him improve his workplace skills. His caseworker referred him to South West Ham Children’s Society for a grant to buy essential items for his children, and referred him to Social Services to be assessed, as the family did not have adequate accommodation nor financial means to support themselves. Olu was awarded a £300 Children’s Society Grant and Social Services provided him with accommodation and some financial assistance. Subsequently, Olu was granted leave-to-remain in UK and he continues to make his home in Newham with his children. The Renewal Programme’s support continued for four weeks after his leave-to-remain was approved so that he and his children were properly supported until his welfare benefits were in place. Olu plans to enrol in college for further studies as his English and Maths have improved through attending The Renewal Programme’s adult education classes. He now feels optimistic for the future and feels he has been hugely empowered by services provided by The Renewal Programme.