Supporting Refugees with BBO Bridges

Over the course of the Bridges project we have supported a number of refugees to enable them to build a better future and feel included in their communities.

Partnering with specialist organisations such as The Refugee and Migrant Centre (RMC) has meant that we have been able to offer specialist, multilingual support to refugees helping them to flourish. Diversity is hugely important and enriches the community, and we believe that people coming to this country should be given the support needed to be the best they can be and build a better future for themselves and their families.

Here are just a few stories from people this project has helped!

Claudia

Claudia came to the UK 4 years ago with four of her children. Her husband passed away and she decided to move from Romania to England looking for a better life.

Claudia has found that her language barrier has made it difficult to find suitable work and wanted something more permanent after finding several temporary roles. She was relying on her teenage daughter for essential translation but felt that this was not fair on her daughter and desperately wanted a better grasp of the English language so that she could have more independence.

Claudia joined the Bridges project at RMC in October 2019 and since then she has been supported in learning the English language through an ESOL course. She also received support to submit a Universal Credit application as well as improving her IT skills. She began with very limited English, she could not spell her name/ address or form a simple sentence, however through practice, she improved and now she can hold a short conversation, make a GP appointment and search for a job to complete her Universal Credits activities.

‘I am very grateful for all the help and support that I received and continuing to receive from Refugee and Migrant Centre in these difficult times. This project has not only help me to improve my language skills but also enabled me to integrate, meet new friends, other women from different countries and take part in ESOL class ‘

Boguslaw

Boguslaw joined the project in April 2019, needing support to search and apply for suitable jobs. The Bridges team at RMC have continued to offer support to him during the Coronavirus pandemic, which has proven to be a challenging time for those who may not fully understand what support is available to them. This help has involved arranging for a food parcel to be delivered to help get him through during a period of financial difficulty and continuing to help him to search and apply for jobs.

‘It feels comforting and reassuring to see you still care and help during this difficult time.  Thank you.’

Keny

Keny came to the UK in January 2018 from Congo. Keny was an Asylum Seeker and applied for a refugee status soon as he arrived in the UK. He went through a lot in his country before he arrived in England and his dream was simply to be safe and independent.

In January 2019 he was granted his Refugee status and right to work, however, he still had some difficulties in finding employment due to his language barrier.

Keny began his ESOL classes and employment sessions with the Bridges team at RMC, he made significant progress with his spoken English and improved his interview skills through language sessions. He also made friends and boosted his self- esteem and confidence. With this support, Keny applied for a job at IKEA and was successful! He now has suitable employment to help him become financially stable and build a better future.

“A new life in a new country”

Refugee Week 2020 15th – 21st June 2020. Join in the conversation #Imagine find more information about refugee week here: https://refugeeweek.org.uk/